Beach House – Teen Dream

January 01, 1970

(Sub Pop)


Bob Dylan set the scene back when he stowed away at The
Band’s Big Pink in Saugerties following his infamous motorcycle wipeout and
recorded some of the best music of his career while laid up.


While it’s not confirmed if it’s the soil, the serenity or
the spaciousness of New York’s Ulster County, but there is something about
those rural routes and quaint villages that pepper the region that really
brings the earthy best out of a recording artist’s sound. And the new album
from Baltimore’s
Beach House is even further proof of this phenomenon. Taking refuge at
Dreamland Studios in West Hurley, a converted historic church where such a
diverse array of names as 10,000 Maniacs, The Breeders, Herbie Hancock, Nas and
Ace Frehley have all recorded among many others, the platonic sonic duo of
Victoria Lengrad and Alex Scally created the album of their careers in their
brilliant third album and Sub Pop debut.


Already positioned to be the first breakout LP of the new
decade if you believe anything the critics are saying, Teen Dream contains the fullest and richest material Lengrad and
Scally have ever made, as the combination of Chris Coady’s crystalline
production and the gorgeous acoustics of Dreamland’s cathedral ceilings provide
the perfect foil for the duo’s ghostly gauze pop. A more diverse array of
instruments, including guitar, bass and an arsenal of keyboards, add a new
sense of fullness to songs like “Zebra” and “Silver Soul”, which also benefit
from the husky beauty of Lengrad’s voice, a combination of Bare Trees-era
Christine McVie and Marianne Faithfull that just fits the floating beauty of Teen Dream like a Totes glove.


The album also includes a DVD that features videos created
for all 10 songs on the album. My personal favorite is the one for “Walk in the
Park”, which depicts a dog-faced boy who gets revenge on a quartet of bullies
who terrorize him by offering them poison sandwiches he pulled out of his chest
cavity. Pretty strange stuff to say the least, and that’s one of the more
normal-looking vids in the collection.


With Teen Dream,
Beach House transplant the woozy pop haze of the vintage West Coast and
transplant it beneath the shadows of the Shawangunk Mountains, crafting the
masterpiece many of their fans knew they had in them all along and proving that
Ulster County, NY is indeed one of the great promised lands of artistic


“Zebra”, “Silver Soul”, “Walk in the Park”, “Real Love” RON





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