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Music: Beach House: Bloom

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Beach House: Bloom

Beach House: Bloom

"Bloom is a journey. For me, it is about the irreplaceable power of imagination as it relates to the intense experience of living", says French-born Victoria Legrand, member of dream pop duo Beach House. She goes on to explain the album's title: "a bloom is only temporary, a fleeting vision of life in all its intensity and colour, beautiful even if only for a moment." Such is the depth and soul of 'Bloom' by Beach House, which is a ten-song long collaboration between Legrand and Alex Scally, and is their fourth studio album.

Place has a significant influence on this ethereal music, a subgenre of alternative rock, born out of the '80s in the UK and led by groups such as Cocteau Twins. The similarities between Cocteau Twins and Beach House are apparent in the songs 'Lorelei' and 'Lazuli', analogous both linguistically and aurally. Dream pop lyrics are typically introspective, but also existential, and vocals breathy but potent.

The soundscapes of 'Bloom' convey what can only be described as a 'blanketing' feel, layers of sound coupled with a somewhat stifled and reserved quality. The sonic textures of the synthesised instruments and vocals are echo-laden and the music is atmospheric and languid.

The album should be listened to as a whole; the idea may sound corny, but one song flows into the next in an elegant, cohesive work. 'Bloom' is about capturing pockets of beauty in our life as a non-permanent state of being. Songs such as 'Wild' and 'On the Sea' illustrate the influence of natural elements, while 'Troublemaker' and 'New Year' are more personal, reclusive. 'Myth' is the opener, and will draw you in from the outset, slow and enrapturing.

Legrand provided the backing vocals to 'Two Weeks' by Grizzly Bear and 'Slow Life' was Beach House's contribution to the soundtrack of the second film in the Twilight series, 'New Moon'. But to give Beach House its dues, 'Bloom' should be recognised in its own right. Its songs are truly mesmerising, evocative of bands such as Portishead and the XX.

'Bloom' by Beach House is out now. Described by The Independent as "a synth-fuelled shoegaze modern classic", you can listen to it on their website.


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Average price: £7.99

  •   A summer soundtrack, as the band's name suggests
  •   The lack of a beat will put some people off