SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., March 27, 2009
Beach HouseVolume, March 19
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, decked out in black leather vest and ironic mustache, respectively, echoed dream pop in direct counterpoint to the family-style orchestrations so prevalent over their past half-decade. Opening the cavernous Volume with a squall of unintentional feedback, the Baltimore trio (now including drums!) launched into a fuzz-happy "Wedding Bell" from 2008's still-reverberating Devotion. Legrand plays a modern Gene Autry, her voice layered and distorted yet still heart-wrenching. With pals (and collaborators) Grizzly Bear hollering at the back of the room, Beach House eased through Devotion highlight "Gila," a kick drum framing Legrand's croon; new 7-inch "Used to Be"; and a gorgeous newbie that had Legrand begging, "I'll take care of you if you ask me to." Beach House is an air conditioner set on 65, aural Xanax that brilliantly calms without putting anyone to bed. The crowd began thinning halfway through, perhaps with the knowledge that Beach House would be making a half-dozen more appearances over the next two days, but that lulling gallop remained.