Album Review: Beach House — Thank Your Lucky Stars

 

 

On the surface, Beach House’s sixth album Thank Your Lucky Stars doesn’t seem to deviate from the band’s signature slow, lush dream pop sound. After repeat listens, the subtle differences that these songs have to most others in Beach House’s discography start to reveal themselves; the march-like feel of guitar-driven track “One Thing” places the band closer to rock than they’ve ever been.

 

Thank Your Lucky Stars is Beach House’s second album of 2015, following August’s Depression Cherry. Beach House claimed that their last album would be closer in sound and aesthetic to their more ethereal earlier releases rather than in the same spacious, louder territory as their more recent albums like Teen Dream and Bloom. They finally deliver on the promise of a more back-to-basics sound on Thank Your Lucky Stars—”She’s So Lovely” returns to the same bubbling organs and slide guitar sounds as “Master Of None” on their 2006 self-titled debut.

 

Beach House try out some new sounds on Thank Your Lucky Stars. “All Your Yeahs” has an almost anthemic, 80s new wave feel to it, featuring some of the most uplifting lyrics vocalist  Victoria Legrand has ever sung with “it’s your life/ do you right/ give them love/ and give them away”. Late album highlight “Elegy To The Void” opens with a keyboard sequence that has a late-70s prog-rock feel to it, and the song blossoms into a six-minute epic that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Pink Floyd’s later records.

 

Album closer “Somewhere Tonight” is built around the waltzy feel that Beach House have made a trademark at this point in their decade-long career. The song has an antique sort of quality to it that hasn’t been heard from Beach House since their earlier material. It sounds like something that could perfectly soundtrack a prom scene on Twin Peaks.

 

The band has insisted that Thank Your Lucky Stars shouldn’t be considered a companion piece to Depression Cherry, but it’s hard not to, given how recent the last album was when we got this one. Depression Cherry almost feels like an afternoon slipping into twilight, with that album’s closer, “Days Of Candy”, being a cotton candy sunset, and Thank Your Lucky Stars picks up right where Depression Cherry leaves off. The whole album has an almost cosmic, starry atmosphere to it. Fitting for a band that’s always been labeled “dream pop”.

-Erik

 

(Thank Your Lucky Stars was released 16 October 2015 on Sub Pop Records.)

Scott MeyerComment