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 clich├ęd 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-Depression Cherry

29 08 2015

“They take the simple things inside you
And put nightmares in your hands.”

Beach House make the kind of music that make you feel like you’ve returned home after months and months of being away. They are like your favourite pair of boots, your favourite jacket, you’re comfort blanket. They are a safety net and a great source of security. Victoria’s voice is gentle, calming and reassuring. They are a band that can drag you through all kinds of hell and at no point will they make you feel like giving up. They can reduce you to tears because of how beautiful their sound is and this unknown feeling they drag out of you. You can’t really find the words to describe the feeling, but it is undoubtedly like nothing else you have felt.

I remember seeing Beach House two years ago and it felt like a religious experience. I’m not religious, so maybe that statement is a bit daft but you get my point. Their live shows just reinforce how phenomenal they are. They are a band that give you this delicate ability to see the world in a different way. With all the pain and suffering around us, Beach House ooze compassion, love and devotion- the qualities we all need more of.

As they are on one of the best record labels (Bella Union) it is no surprise that Beach House put out music that fits everything the label is about. As an avid listener of the band (you can say obsessive, that’s okay) I’ve noticed that with Depression Cherry there is less drums on the record. Bloom had songs with grand drums and made your heart skip a crazy amount of beats because you were just in awe of all that was going on, with their fifth record you can tell they are still playing around with sounds and are quite possibly revisiting their earlier work. Foolishly I had ignored their first record, but of course I know just how stunning it is. There’s a tranquil atmosphere in their sound that remains the same in each record. What makes Depression Cherry stand out from the rest of their records? Honestly, I cannot tell you. It just feels like an addition to a family, you instantly love it as much as the others. It just feels like home. Home doesn’t have to be what is common for most. It can be a place or with a person. Depression Cherry sounds like the ideal record right after Bloom. It wouldn’t have fitted anywhere else.

Beach House are a band that I never have to worry about winning me over. I always know that I’m going to hear something truly special and magical when I listen to them. I’ve gone back and listened to their records so many times, and as someone who is constantly fixated by lyrics Beach House are one of the few bands that move me musically. I pay close attention to the patterns, the repetition and movement in the music. The heightened emotions they create in the music is on par with the genius in the lyrics of Patti, Lou and Morrissey. They give you this piece of heaven and hope in their own way. With Beach House, you get this hope in all ways imaginable, It is in the lyrics and music. The music guides you on this trip and the lyrics reassure you that everything is going to be just fine. If you’re feeling low, then Beach House are the band to guide and comfort you. They are also the band who can give you such joy. They’re just so bloody wonderful.

I don’t know if I’ll do a list of my favourite records this year, so I’ll call Depression Cherry now as the most beautiful and ethereal records anyone will hear all year. Beach House have this ability to bring out curiosity in the listener. They fill you with hope and wonder, and the assurance that it will all be okay. Depression Cherry is a map to happiness, and although I have so much sentimental value clinging onto Teen Dream, I am willing to take some away from it and latch it onto Depression Cherry. Their new record is a hug after battling through a shitstorm of a day.

Depression Cherry ends with the hypnotic Days Of Candy. If you’re unsure of what unconditional love is, listen to this song. Just listen to Beach House. Days Of Candy is the perfect way to end such a stunning and gorgeous record. It feels like the sun setting in your mind. It gives you clarity and the ability to go on. We all feel lost and unsure, I don’t think I have ever gone a day without feeling like that, but Beach House are that band who make you feel like someone has your hand or is watching over you to make sure it eventually goes alright. As I have already mentioned about the record, it really does feel like you are being reassured and as if you are putting on your favourite item of clothing. I sometimes wonder how it is possible to love a band as much as this, but there are moments where it just hits me why. Depression Cherry is a reminder for any Beach House fan as to why they are one of the most incredible bands around.

Their gentle and homely sound is good for the soul and can calm any inner storm we may face. Victoria and Alex have yet again created something that in years to come, you and I will listen to and just be transported to a place where nothing and no one can touch us. Depression Cherry is a statement from a band that know exactly how to move their fans and how to lure new ones in. You lapse into a daydream when you listen to Depression Cherry, and you hold onto all that it makes you feel and think. In a world full of people being absorbed by their phones, Beach House are a band that really make you see the world and take in all that is around you.

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