Beach House Devotion Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Perfect for any lazy afternoon where aggression and gangster-rap seem to be of another...

David McGuire 2008

Beach House (Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand) make haunting music – the kind which would seem at home in any independently made 1960's love film fitted snugly at the end as one lover died whilst the other wept uncontrollably. Despite this generally joyless outlook, the press release seems to preach the exact opposite; hailing the album as the perfect ''antidote to the winter blues''. Confusing? Perhaps...

Not to say this is a bad record in any shape or form. In fact, quite the opposite. It's an album that gets lost within itself and creates a carousel of fuzziness and disorientation – making the world around seem slight and almost irrelevant. It would be an easy option to compare the overall aesthetics of Devotion to that of a drug-induced state, but that would only tell half the story. Wedding Bell sets the tone for the record, dancing around bouncing bass melodies and looping, echoed guitar loops (at a guess). Gila steadies the pace down a bit but by the time fifth track, Holy Dances, comes around, it's clear that Scally and Legrand use the vocal not just as a lyrical conduit but as another instrument. They cement the chorus of chimes which, in turn, extrudes an almost spiritual radiance from the album.

Later on, Some Things Last A Long Time is a beautifully simple song that perfectly complements an un-complex album. This is a typical Bella Union release. It is raw, courteous and understated in a genial kind of way. Perfect for any lazy afternoon where aggression and gangster-rap seem to be of another world.

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