Beach House weaves in and out of focus

Baltimore duo’s fifth record “Depression Cherry” sustains their legacy — unsurprisingly

Christian Davis, Writer

Eight seconds into Beach House’s new record, it becomes entirely unmistakable that you are in fact listening to Beach House–just in case you forgot. The critical divide in their career lies with this instantly recognizable factor, the idea that a Beach House song is instantly identifiable. When you have become a band that is synonymous with the genre you helped revitalize, where do you go from there? Has dream-pop become this inescapable box? Do you keep making music from within the box and brush off the critique of sameness?


I am not sure if Beach House can answer any of these questions, but either way they have given us “Depression Cherry,” their first offering since 2012’s “Bloom.” If anything, it becomes increasingly difficult to write about Beach House’s music without reducing yourself to using the cliches they so obviously loathe at this point, mainly the automatic association with anything dreamlike in their music.


Even though “Space Song” sounds exactly like something I would imagine the characters in the Twin Peaks universe would dance to in a diner, it would be lazy of me to use that analogy. Or how “10:37” sounds like I am floating around in my own dream because Beach House sounds, you know, super dreamy.


When I first heard “Sparks,” those soaring guitar lines took me to another place, and some might consider that Beach House’s parlor trick. I am more inclined to chalk it up to their charm. They transport you to a place seemingly so far away, and make you forget you are only dreaming inside your own head.

But if the shoe fits, should they not wear it? Beach House does dream-pop arguably better than anyone in our generation does. They tap into something so universally transcendent, they will play four straight nights in a row at the Henry Fonda Theater this December.

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