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Beach House’s “Thank Your Lucky Stars:” I’m Thankful For It

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Beach House’s “Thank Your Lucky Stars:” I’m Thankful For It

Cam Vernali

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There’s no time like the present, and this seems to be especially true for indie band Beach House, who just released their second album of 2015. “Thank Your Lucky Stars” was released on October 16, only a month and a half after the release of Beach House’s first album of 2015, “Depression Cherry.” “Thank Your Lucky Stars” is an album that embodies the quintessential sound of Beach House in their earlier days, something that is both the album’s biggest strength and weakness.

Beach House, the Baltimore-based project of 34 year-old Victoria Legrand and 33 year-old Alex Scally, has been around since 2006. Both play the keyboard. Additionally, Legrand does the vocals and Scally plays the guitar. The band has been compared to the likes of Nico, the Cocteau Twins, the Zombies and Francoise Hardy. Beach House’s most popular albums, “Teen Dream” and “Bloom,” are good examples of the emotional, airy yet heavy music that the band is well-known for. Beach House is scheduled to play three shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco on December 17, 18, and 19 later this year. But, back to the important stuff – “Thank Your Lucky Stars.”

One might wonder, why release two albums right after each other? Why not instead make a double-album? According to flavorwire.com, the two albums were recorded simultaneously but the lyrics to “TYLS” were written after the lyrics to “Depression Cherry” were already done, and so the band felt that the two albums were too different to combine. “Along the way we realized that we didn’t want [Thank Your Lucky Stars] to be released in the traditional manner,” said Beach House to flavorwire.com.

Releasing an album only a month and a half after another one most certainly isn’t traditional, yet it works in this case; the simplicity of “Depression Cherry” was jarring when compared to Beach House’s previous album “Bloom,” which was larger and grander. But in the scope of “TYLS,” “Depression Cherry” is a transition from bigger songs to smaller. This more intimate vibe is felt right from the start of “TYLS” with the first song “Majorette.” Hypnotic and captivating, the light vocals guide the listener over repetitive keyboards and gentle drums.

“TYLS” is filled with mesmerizing songs throughout. “She’s So Lovely” is a carried by airy vocals other eerie keyboards and guitars that is both isolating and inviting at the same time. “All Your Yeahs” is more simple and direct in vocals, yet has a repetitive beat that pairs up nicely with a catchy chorus. There are some lows to the album, though. “Somewhere Tonight” runs on and seem a little dull, not gaining much attention at its placement near the end of the album.

It’s almost impossible not to draw parallels to previous Beach House songs while listening to “TYLS.” “Common Girl” sounds remarkably similar to “On the Sea” from their album “Bloom,” while the beginning of “Rough Song” seems to echo the start of their song “Myth.” Even though some songs seem to echo Beach House’s older ones – sometimes just in few places, other times for whole stretches of the song – the songs off of “TYLS” have a factor that makes it different and distinguishable.

Still, it makes you think: are the repetitions complete accidents, or maybe purposeful in some way? Is Beach House trying to come full circle back to their roots, or just trying to emulate their earlier styles? Either way, “TYLS” definitely could be placed between their 2006 and 2008 releases, and it would fit right in.

That is where “TYLS” could run into a wall; for some people, this album is too sudden after “Depression Cherry,” too much regression for how long Beach House has been around and too similar to their early work. For others, it is a chance to reevaluate what “Depression Cherry” really means, and how it fits in with “TYLS” – both recorded at the same time but with different meanings, it opens the door for deeper thought. To me, this album is truly something to be grateful for; beautiful and eloquently crafted, it evokes feelings and emotions that only Beach House can reach. “Thank Your Lucky Stars” is essentially Beach House at its core – lush, ethereal, and timeless.

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