Beach House continue the interesting launch campaign of their forthcoming new album Once Twice Melody by releasing the third quarter of the record for your pillow-propped delectation. Albeit the full monty is not due until February 18th, we have now been able to sneak a peek at 13 of the 18 tracks on the record as the band have continued to reveal quarterly instalments over the winter.
The latest drop brings us the ethereal sounding ‘Sunset’, the ethereal sounding ‘Only You Know’, the ethereal sounding ‘Another Go Around’, the ethereal sounding ‘Masquerade’ and the ethereal sounding ‘Illusion of Forever’ in what promises to be a truly ethereal album. In fact, I would venture that Beach House have never sounded so ethereal since their last record, 2018’s Z.
Is this a criticism of the tracks we have heard so far? Well, considering that overly mentioned ‘ethereal’ comes with the Oxford English Dictionary definition of “very delicate and light; heavenly or spiritual,” it can hardly be considered an insult. While the band might not have pushed the boat out too far for the tracks, it helps that it was already floating above the water.
You most certainly will not dive into the new anthems below and be shocked by the whispery tones, the directed by Nicolas Winding Refn-like cruising feel or the swelling instrumentation and overtured production, but if you’re short of some Diazepam then you won’t be disappointed either. The final test is whether you’ll listen again and again after the initial pleasant floating wanes towards familiar somnambulant strolls—and the answer to that is: time will tell.
Maybe the answer will formulate once the full 18-track album is released, but my suggestion is that there will always be a need for the occasional Beach House escape, they know that full well, they’ve been dishing it out of Baltimore since 2004 and their dreaminess is even more lucid now. In fact, in the pandemic era, it’s not just escapism but a necessary boon.
The rest of the record due out soon was recorded with a live string ensemble which elevates it beyond studio-shackled imitators with David Campbell providing intricate arrangements. Be sure to check back next month for your final appointment.