BEACH HOUSE. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. 30th October 2015.

2 11 2015

Beach House are one of those bands that can reduce anyone to floods of tears, regardless of how tough they are. They’re the kind of band you play when you feel out of sorts. I’ve managed to no longer associate them with personal situations as no good can ever come from it, if I did that I probably would never listen to them again. Aside from the chorus to Walk In The Park, I’ve learnt to let go of any personal connection. However they still can make me cry just because I bloody love them.

As I watched them on Friday I came to the realisation that when I die, I reckon my journey to wherever I’m headed will have Beach House playing. Their songs can curb hints of anxiety (as I refuse to go to the doctor about the panic attacks I have, I use music and it helps especially Beach House) and their songs can feel like a massive hug. There is something so special about Victoria’s voice. I remember when they first came out, and some were adamant that they singer was a guy. I guess they weren’t listening properly.

Their live shows for me isn’t just about the music. The visuals hook you in immediately. You make out the shadows of the band, and the darkness and stillness of it all really makes the show spectacular. Each song played is greeted with this loving glow, and it is so obvious just how treasured the band are. Beach House allowed fans to choose the songs played on the tour via their website. I religiously did this as soon as they announced this until late on Friday. I knew the songs I wanted, I kept one as a solid and the others I switched. Most of them were played, and regarding the new songs, I was all about hearing PPP. They played it and I felt like my heart had burst out of my chest and I was being transported elsewhere. I saw them 2 years ago in exactly the same venue, and I don’t think anywhere else would be suited for them.

Walk In The Park was played and I was fully expecting to sob like a child. Fortunately I kept it to a minimum. Probably because I was getting annoyed at the drunk idiots around us who felt the need to talk through it all. Just because it was a Friday and you’ve had a bit of wine doesn’t mean you have to be a massive twat does it? Actually for them, it probably does!

On record Beach House have this soothing quality, and of course they have that during their live shows. However the drums really heighten the importance of the sound. Where Alex and Victoria are delicate, the drums allow them to let go slightly and expose each song in a different way. Although I love rowdy bands such as Dead Boys and Fugazi, bands like Beach House are there to balance it all out. Different parts of us want different things.

Opening with Levitation felt so right, I doubt any other song should have been the opener. It was like an introduction for the journey they were about to take us all on. Five albums into their career and I think it is fair to state that they really are one of the best bands around, although I was probably declaring that when their debut came out. Their music feels like a walk on the beach late at night, on your own. I find them to be a band that I listen to with no one around. I guess it’s because they are so peaceful and for me being around loads of people is anything but peaceful (although I’m fine at gigs!)

Back to what I said at the start where I felt like the band would probably be playing at the end of this life. Beach House are a band that you can face all your fuck ups to and start over. Of course the second you start seeking approval from others you forget who you are, but sometimes you need to see what you’ve done and do what is necessary. Victoria’s words are like a hug for the soul and Alex’s guitar makes you feel as if you’re floating above the clouds- up and away from all you’ve ever known. Their music is a safety net, a form of protection. For them to convey this in their live shows takes guts, and as delicate as their sound is they do it so perfectly well.

I feel this “review” is pretty wanky because I’ve not really talked about the show, but it is one of those things that you need to experience for yourself in order to get what I’m on about. There is just something to special and heavenly about their sound and shows, and I know it is so boring and an utterly clichéd thing to say but it’s the truth. Everything they make you feel on record is grander when you witness it live. Their presence is subtle but powerful. Although they are quite reserved, they allow themselves to get lost in the music in their own way and I think some of the fans react in the same way. I could quite happily go to a Beach House show every night. The words and music just hit you in gut, and once they’ve got to you that’s it. Nothing else really matters. I felt like it was just me and them when I was watching them. My surroundings didn’t matter to me and more than usual I was oblivious to all around me (apart from the drunk idiots.)

I still stand by wanting Victoria to sing me to sleep every night, but until then I’ll cling onto the memories of Friday night. I appreciate the new records even more after hearing them live, and with all their songs I saw them all in a different light after hearing them live. Music means more to you when you see a band you love play the songs you love right before you. You can’t put a price on that experience at all.

Beach House-Wild.

9 04 2013


“And in a while,
You start a smile.
The earth is wild,
We’ve got no time.”

When something happens, I am fortunate enough to be one of those people who just let it go. My teenage years were made up of nagging thoughts that I was sure would haunt me forever; they thankfully leave in time. Those nagging thoughts were replaced with something else. They were replaced with just attempting to take it easy on myself. I have good days and bad days. My own worst critic. It’s alright. But something happened exactly two weeks ago at about 9pm. Something happened that just will not leave me alone. You know who is to blame? Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand. Beach House.

I’ve already written about seeing them two weeks ago in London. I can’t read it because I’ll want to add more and more. This is post-gig something or other. I need a word for it, but it isn’t happening. At first I thought it was just the gig in general that did something to me. Turns out it is one song in particular. One song which I didn’t expect to do anything to me. I was wrong, again. So bloody wrong.

I honestly thought Take Care or Myth would be the songs that would ruin me after the gig (during the gig, we don’t talk about it. They played them after each other. It was like they knew!!) Beach House opened with Wild. I’ve had a soft spot for this song, but over the past few weeks I have learnt that it is more important to me than any other song right now. I wish I knew why, but I think I need to let that go. I have to, because I will just sit and play it over and over trying to work it out. I’m pretty much doing that now as I type. Maybe I’ll get some answers after I’ve written this. Or the obvious will happen; I’ll stay frustrated with this thought and resign myself to the fact that Wild is a gorgeous song.

Victoria’s voice live is as perfect as it is on record. Her voice is equally as delicate and so perfect. People say perfection doesn’t exist, but I think you can make exceptions. Victoria’s voice is an exception. My girlfriend, who came with me to the gig, wasn’t really a Beach House fan- now she is. THANK YOU BEACH HOUSE! Anyway. Victoria’s voice on Wild for some reason holds something different to her voice on other songs. As she sings “Wild in our ways, go on pretending” towards the end of the song, it sounds like a plea. A plea to just cling onto youth and dreams. To cling onto whatever keeps you safe in your thoughts. The drums on this live were stunning. The felt like a gentle rumble within the soul and the way Alex plays the guitar just feels like you are watching the sun rise. Everything about this song is pure. It truly comes to life when you witness it live. I think two weeks ago I had some kind of epiphany but I really cannot work out what it was.

I remember when I bought Bloom when it came out last year. I just played New Year constantly. It was the song I really became obsessed with. Then I started to just playing the whole record over and over. I realised that every Beach House song has always summed up feelings that have no names. Maybe they do have names, but the way in which Beach House project it is much more beautiful. Part of me thought, maybe this feeling happened whilst witnessing Wild live was because I had the one I completely and utterly love next to me. Would I have felt this way if I went with a friend? Probably, because I did feel like it was just me and the band in the room. Sure I was aware that others were there, but that gig was one moment I wish I could relive for the rest of time.

Wild just evokes so much. I was walking home from the gym last night just playing it over and over. The sun was going down, and I was walking down this road that seemed to go on forever. When the drums kicked in, a car went past quite fast with its lights on full beam. It fitted perfectly with the song. Obviously the driver didn’t know I was listening to this song and probably didn’t even see me there. But when you wander around (I do this a lot) listening to music, you create scenes in your head. It didn’t feel like real life, and we all know that real life can be a drag at times. I felt like I was in a daze but at the same time- the full beam lights did something. As did the song.

I’ve not written this for any reason. I don’t think there’s a reason to it. You don’t need to justify everything. However, I am none the wiser as to what Wild did to me 2 weeks ago and what it is still doing to me. Maybe it has given me some hope. I need it. Maybe it has given me some secret form of strength. I don’t know if I need that. Wants and needs are so very different, but sometimes they are exactly the same. Maybe the song is saying its okay to be a bit careless at times and to just carry on. We grow up in our own ways. We don’t need to say “Well, I am *insert age* and know it all.” You know nothing, that’s why you’re alive because you are learning as you go. Make all the mistakes you can and learn. You don’t need to broadcast to all what you have learnt. Keep it to yourself. I advise you to listen to Wild. If it makes you feel like it has made me feel, please let me know. Maybe you have a word for it. Or maybe you just “get it.” I don’t know.

I think Wild is just going to be one of those songs that I will treasure for the rest of my life, and when I hear it everything will be perfect and pure in my mind and soul.

Beach House-Bloom.

5 05 2012

My mum bought me a copy of Teen Dream, and I guess that is why that record holds more meaning for me than I can actually wrap my head around. I remember walking home in the cold last February after I found out she was ill, and I had Take Care on repeat. I listen to it, and I immediately think of her. Sometimes I wish I was a Superhero so I could switch it round. It’s like Kate Bush sang, “If I only could I’d make a deal with God and get him to swap our places.” If you ever want to see me bawl like a baby, play that song. I cannot listen to it. Back to Beach House. So, Take Care hold so much for me. Victoria’s voice breaks me heart every single time. If I could sing, I’d want a voice like hers. Instead I sound like Captain Beefheart meets Bob Dylan..if I try hard enough.

Bloom is magical. Bloom is hopeful. Bloom is everything you want from a Beach House record.

Beach House have this stunning way of just making you feel like you are in love, even if you are without. They make you feel like your heart is in the palm of another’s as you listen to their music. They heal you, they break you too- but they provide so much comfort that you do not mind any hurt that comes your way. Beach House are like Warpaint, I cannot listen to them with anyone else. I just can’t. I think it’s because when I listen to them I must have my eyes shut, be utterly still and take it all in. I guess it’d be nice to share this with someone, but I’d worry they wouldn’t feel the same. Then I’d be sad and my faith in humanity would fade away some more.

When they released Myth a month or so ago, it felt like some kind of religious take over. I’m not a religious person. I’m stupidly spiritual but I keep my beliefs to myself. Listening to Myth was so euphoric. I felt like something had clicked in my brain. I always get that when I listen to Beach House. Their music is so beautiful, I fail to find the words to write down. I feel that whatever I write about Beach House just doesn’t do them any justice at all. For me, I think Myth is going to be one of those songs I go to when everything seems wrong. The lyrics are shaped like life advice. I rarely turn to people for advice, I’d rather fuck up on my own accord and be the only person who sinks down with the consequences. I listen to Myth, and it just feels like well, a sense of security. That whatever I do, just makes sure it is the best thing for me I guess. I learnt a lot about growing up by listening to Beach House.

“If you build yourself a myth know just what to give. What comes after this momentary bliss. Consequence of what you do to me.”

“Would you rather go unwilling. The heart is full and now its spilling. Barreling down the steps. Only a moment left.”

This line from On The Sea is one of the most accurate and honest lines from the record. Something so simple that just makes you feel as if you can do anything. And maybe, just maybe- you can. You’ve just got to believe I guess. If you don’t believe, then you’ve only got yourself to blame. But we like to shift the blame don’t we. Beach House, on the other hand, just make you accept everything for what it is and let go. That’s all you can do.

Being a fan of Beach House has taught me something valuable. Something I thought only tough people could do. They taught me how to let something go, and to just carry on. These are things you are supposed to find out the hard way. Maybe I did, but Beach House made the grip less strong and the desire to go forward stronger. I owe them a lot.

Listening to Bloom makes you feel weightless. You feel as if you are letting go. I know I’m banging on about it, but they truly make you feel like everything around you no longer matters. Maybe developing strength in what makes you weak causes this. I have no idea. Beach House give you all these unnamed feelings that no other could ever give you. No other will give you.

Victoria Legrand has THE most distinctive voice around. The way she sings is so delicate; it makes you trust in every single word she sings. The music that she and Alex Scally create cause your lonely feelings to be cut wide open, then they leave you. They leave you as you slowly sink into their music. This is extremely evident in Bloom. I hope with all I have, that people wake up to Beach House. They’ve gone unnoticed for long enough now.

Bloom holds the same amount of beauty as Teen Dream, Devotion and their self-titled record all have. They just create beautiful music that fills your bones with hope and love. There are twinges of fragility in this record, and that alone makes it something you must believe in. Music is extremely powerful. Victoria and Alex create music that you, thankfully, cannot define. The only word that can sum it all up is beautiful, but even that isn’t good enough. Bloom is for the lost, the found, lovers, loveless, lonely, confused, sad, vulnerable it is for everyone. You cannot spot a Beach House fan. Beach House make you gentle and careful. And in a world where being an utter bastard is glorified, they are much-needed. I’ll take being a sensitive soul over being a careless tough person any day.
“You watch the shape these things are taking ’till you cry out in your sleep. Does it become you when you’re under? Your heart is racing. You’re taking everything to heart.”