Beach House’s latest offering, Bloom, is officially out on Sub Pop, and the band continues to build on the more polished atmosphere of their previous album, Teen Dream. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are continuing to reinvent the arpeggio and dream pop vocal melodies with songs that all take after the title of the album; slowly blooming and unfolding layers and increasing volume until full brightly colored fruition and closing back up to unfold again. In other words, it’s what everyone’s come to love about Beach House, and exactly what has been anticipated for this album. At times the electronic percussion feels too shallow and click track-like, but it’s never too bare for too long.
The two tracks that have already been released, “Lazuli” and “Myth,” are the two standout tracks upon the first few listens, but all the others start to sink in and grow the more they’re played. Beach House also seems to pull more from other works this time, like how the intro of “The Hours” is reminiscent of Lauryn Hill’s version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” but only for the first couple seconds before making the song their own and going in so different of a direction that makes you almost entirely forget the association. “New Year” is also especially droning, and purposefully wavering in and out of tune much in the same style of My Bloody Valentine.
In true Beach House fashion, just enough of the lyrics are intelligible to know that what Legrand is singing is intriguing, but doesn’t easily give everything away as it coyly gets swept away by the fuzzed out wavering synth, the trilling guitar lines, and the increasing reverb of everything all together. Legrand comes out sounding very wise with her sometimes deep and warm, sometimes wispy yet meaningful delivery. Then there are also those moments like the break in “Wishes,” that feel like the ground is breaking and the sky is falling, and it’s eyes closed good.
Closer “Irene” is perfect for the end, being an especially strong builder that gradually increases using repetition as meaningful reinforcement. There’s also a hidden track after a few minutes of silence, as if to promote a period of reflection and taking in what has just aurally transpired, before a drum beat eventually creeps in like picking up a lost transmission on an AM radio, then the wavering guitar with steady organ comes in, soon followed by Legtand’s soothing vocals of velvet. Then, as suddenly as the signal crept in, it fades back out, and the signal is closed.
All in all, Bloom is another beautiful Beach House record that lends itself to reflection, mental wandering, and general blissing out. Grab it at Sub Pop, and treat your ears to the live thing at one of their upcoming tour dates.