Beach House

Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

Phases & Stages

Beach House

Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

Beach House's previous two albums – 2006's self-titled debut and Devotion two years later – worked well as set-pieces, jumping between stoned love songs and mystic invocations, accented with warm wind chimes and other shore sounds. Those albums were the aural equivalent of Xanax, and it worked for the Baltimore duo, but on its Sub Pop debut, the dynamic shifts subtly. It still sounds like a Beach House album – Victoria Legrand's drowsy, rolling keys; Alex Scally's chiming guitar – but the druggy effect has worn off. "Zebra" and "10 Mile Stereo" are upbeat, Legrand measuring out some of the Stevie Nicks thunder waiting to come booming out of her. Restraint allows them to make better use of their set-pieces, however, birthing some of the album's more fully realized songs. Drums sound like drums, not programmed beats on "Used to Be" and "Silver Soul," and Legrand elbows out some heavy piano pining on "Real Love." She expands her vocal range as well, going from husky to bell-clear in one swoop, but spends too much time filling empty space with hey-ey-eys and oh-oh-ohs instead of actual lyrics, like on "Norway." The album centerpiece is "Lover of Mine," which wants to be Teen Dream's "Rhiannon," but it only gets halfway up the mountain. A solid third LP, but it's not Beach House's "masterpiece." They've still got some gold dust to kick up.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Beach House
Phases & Stages
Beach House and Beachwood Sparks
Bloom, The Tarnished Gold (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, July 20, 2012

ACL Music Fest Friday Interview
Beach House
Proving the suede-to-silk theory

Audra Schroeder, Oct. 8, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013


Beach House

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle