Song Reviews

Album art for Beach House's forthcoming release, Bloom – taken from Stereogum.

Beach House has always been a band that has lived by the beat of an organ’s drum machine; however, they’ve never been limited by it. With “Myth,” Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally make their 2010 release, Teen Dream, seem like a distant memory, proving that they, perhaps more than ever, know exactly where they’re at musically, and have perfected their sound. The song is driven, of course, by precise, mechanical ticking, and reveals the sounds familiar to Beach House fans: a swell of arpeggios from the keyboard harmonizing with Scally’s eighth note rhythms on guitar, along with Legrand’s unmistakeable, seductive voice that slithers over the droning tempo. “You can’t keep hangin’ on/to all that’s dead and gone,” Legrand claims, which is true to the band’s mentality. They never let the past determine what they produce in the present. The song features their simplistic, lo-fi approach, but with the addition of a deep, monotonous bass, along with the atmospheric, tasteful use of drums, Beach House boosts their sound as if they’ve mated dream pop with arena rock.

“Myth” may be considered only an extension of the songs featured on Teen Dream, making their new album Bloom (Due May 15th) seem as if it’s a sequel. However, Beach House continues to mature with their audience by staying true to their sound, and always finding new ways to amplify it.

Listen to “Myth” here:


Black Mountain – taken from

With “Mary Lou,” canadian rock group Black Mountain takes its pseudo-psychedelic sound – which in the past has had the tendency to sound like a plethora of fossilized classic rock bands – to the next level. The song comes from the band’s forthcoming release (available April 3rd), which is a soundtrack composed of old and new songs for the so-called “apocalyptic” surf film Year Zero. Since the song was written specifically for a film, there is a noticeable shift in the group’s approach to songwriting. The vintage sound of the chunky opening bass riff, which is later mimicked by an even chunkier, distorted guitar is typical Black Mountain; but the band injects their fossil rock sound with a shot of adrenaline by working in a quicker tempo than usual, while simplifying the song structure to a repetitive, catchy drone that does not put any emphasis on lyrics. However, lyrics are of no importance to this song – this is cruising music. The simple phrase “Mary Lou, Mary Lou/Whatchu gonna do?” is adequate because the emphasis relies solely on the charging electric vibe of the music, which makes it appealing to a crowd of “renegade surfers” and anyone who wants to rock hard. The song makes the listener feel as if he or she is catching a wave, taking it for a speedy ride, crashing down and drowning under water, and then slowly washing up to shore.

Listen to “Mary Lou” here: