After falling for Teen Dream, I didn’t think Beach House had another album that strong in them. Then I decided to check out their newest release Bloom, whose polka-dot artwork had been popping up on my radar for months. Let’s just say I was blown away from the first track.
The album opens on the brilliant “Myth,” a song that opens the echo chamber to a sea of arpeggios and Legrand’s haunting voice, the second the hook kicks in you are taken away. Its chorus is strangely less enthralling yet just as beautiful and the guitar fill at the end ends the song perfectly. “Wild” makes drums part of the soundscape as it opens on a mix of beautiful guitars and cymbal washes, Legrand’s vocals have never ached of such yearning. “Lazuli” throws the synths into overdrive, with an almost 8bit hook and a underlying chord progression that sounds holy at times. In typical Beach House fashion the last few minutes of this song change direction and the song gains a strangely dark quality even more entrancing than before.
If “Lazuli” was almost holy, than “Other People” truly takes you to heaven with its holy intro and the angelic feel Legrand’s vocals give, and when it finally hits chorus its even more relaxing. “The Hours” strange sigh opening leads into one of the more driving synth lines on the album, less riffy but more commanding, and it has one of the best vocal lines on the album, where Legrand’s vocals feel like they’re playing off the guitar’s lines. “Troublemaker” plays a rather eerie synth line that never seems to lose that feel until the drums kick in and make it feel more epic. When this song hits its B-section there is an overpowering sense of awe to it.
(After Twin Peaks, this is pretty normal for Ray Wise)
“New Year” is one of the more rhythmic songs on the album with just about every part filling a different part of a total pattern, even Legrand’s off-beat vocals seem strangely appropriate, with the line “I keep these pro-mis-es, these pro-mi-seeeyahahes” playing through my head for weeks. Even the chorus sounds even more brilliant and full of awe than any previous track, and there are points where the guitars howl sounds like it’s alive. The arpeggios and holy sound are back on “Wishes” a song that sounds like an electronic folk song and sometimes a hymn. The guitar fill halfway through this song proves they can’t mess them up and the drop and roar transition shocked me the first time I heard it, Legrand’s vocals really command the majesty the song presents.
Once again placing one of the sadder and more acoustic songs near the end, “On The Sea” is one of the album’s most beautifully sad, even the guitar sounds more like an echo heavy violin when you first hear it. Near the end Legrand’s voice and the guitar seem like two old souls sharing a duet while the keys gain steam before the entire thing bursts into a wave of sound. The album closes on the immense “Irene” (clocking in around 16 minutes on the album) that more than earns its length given the immense wash and ambiance it gives off, the song is a piece of beauty and has so many alternating parts it’s hard to believe it comes from two people and a session drummer. It closes out the album in an all too epic way, fitting of the majestic and sometimes religious feeling the album gives.