Album Review: Beach House- Depression Cherry

Review by Marissa McCall

For their 5th album the Baltimore based group has switched up their style from indie pop to more of a “dream pop” styled record. It feels as if you are in a trance and Victoria Legrand, lead singer of Beach House, is swaying you back and forth with her words. The nine-song album is a matrix of an array of sounds to individually sound simple, but together come together to form the puzzle that is Depression Cherry.

The first song off of the album, “Levitation”, creates the feeling as if you are falling down the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland” by creating a long drawn out synth tempo, and gradually adding multiple beats. The guitar chords do not come until the middle of the song, but when they come they are smart, minimal and vital to the sound. All of the sounds on the song are soft in nature, but have a raw quality that give off the feeling of blankness or that the album is still incomplete.

There is a sense of ambiguity throughout the album in the sounds and the lyrics. Like any good book it leaves room from page to page for the reader to make their own interpretation, and on this record Beach House withholds ideas so the listener can form his/her own ideas and thoughts. This creates a blank, but whole feeling to the album.

The third track on the album, “Space Song”, Beach House establishes an emotional ambiguity that is heard throughout the album. The relationship being described in the song explores the ideas of being alone with no comfort. The lyric “Tender is the night” was derived from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last novel, and Fitzgerald took inspiration from “Ode to Nightingale” a poem John Keats wrote. In both pieces they compare the loss of a significant other to death, but raises the thought “are you better off alone?” This creates a question that promotes the listener to think of his/her own conclusion, which is repeated throughout the album.

Beach House has explored minimalistic sounds and clever song writing before, just as any others have and will continue to do. The difference between Beach House’s old albums and their new album is there is a sense of organization and wholeness to the blankness that creates Depression Cherry.


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