BEACH HOUSE. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. 30th October 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- Take Care.

“It’s no good unless it’s real.”

Sometimes you hear a song that becomes everything to you. This song may come at a time where everything is wrong, and you just need something. Or, you may have heard the song in passing a few years ago, then something happens for you to love it even more. You associate it with a bad time, yet as time passes you, you can link the song to happier times. To a different person, to a different situation altogether. You feel quite foolish for not being so open to it in the beginning. Why on earth did it take something so horrific to make you truly get the meaning of the song? Well, the thing is we never really understand something or truly GET it until we have to face it. Until we are alone and need something to provide the answers. Seek answers, not approval. This one song is your ultimate crutch. This song is the one that makes you think of someone you love with all you have. Someone you want to protect. Is it the song that saved your life, or is it the song that gave you life? The song is your life.

I remember hearing Teen Dream by Beach House when it came out in 2010. I played it almost ritualistically. I regarded it in my soul as one of the best things to have happened in 2010. Every song felt like Alex and Victoria were delving into their souls, and into the listeners. It is a record that you play when you just want to find some inner peace. Beach House make you feel like you are in love even when you are loveless. Even when you are without all the positive emotions possible, they still feel you with such hope. Their music is like a massive warm cuddle to the soul. It is pure, innocent and wise.

Take Care is my ultimate favourite Beach House song. Close second is Saltwater. That’s as far as I can go with saying my favourite Beach House songs, because after these two songs- I’m pretty much in love equally with every single one. My love for Take Care was always there, it just came alive because of a really shit time.

Go to February 2011. I find out my mum has cancer (she’s totally fine now.) She flys over to tell me. I then go to my best friend’s house..and we cry. I never cry in front of anyone. I leave, get on the bus home and play Beach House. For some reason, Take Care starts playing. I try not to cry on the bus. No one wants to be that person crying on public transport, ever. EVER. So I keep it together. I get home. I’m still playing Take Care. The lyrics are becoming more and more apt. Victoria’s voice is easing the crying. I fall asleep listening to it. I seem to have to play the song every day just to keep myself as sane as possible. A few months after, I played the song for my mum. She’s now a huge fan of Beach House.

I now listen to the song with no sadness. The song reminds me of another. A totally different situation. But the sheer love and wanting to take care of them is there. It will always be there, and they know it.

What I love about Take Care is how simple yet wonderfully stunning it is. It isn’t just a love song. In fact, I don’t think it is a love song. I think the song represents the purely selfless act of wanting to place someone above you, and protect them. To just love them, be there and look after them. There’s only a few people in our lives we can dedicate such feelings to. When you find that person, that’s when you know everything bad you’ve done before, every bad feeling you’ve felt and every ounce of hurt that you’ve felt no longer means a thing because of this person. It doesn’t have to be in a romantic sense; it can be in whatever way you wish.

I can easily sit for hours listening to Beach House. I can quite happily have Take Care as the only song I listen to all day and not want to listen to anything else. A heavenly sigh comes out of you as you listen to it, because you know everything is going to be alright. Take Care goes beyond reassuring you. It becomes almost like a mantra. As you close your eyes and sway your body to the song, you feel yourself being transported elsewhere. All that is there is you and another. You choose who you want to take, and you dedicate this song to them. This song was written for them. A partner, a friend, a relative- it doesn’t matter. You just feel utter love when you listen to this song.

Then you have the flip side of it. When you feel low, playing Beach House makes you feel instantly better. Playing this song makes you feel like you can carry on. It is the piece of advice that you’ve been searching for. The song makes you feel complete, that you have enough in you to keep going. It is just a simply powerful song that makes you feel more than you can wrap your head around.

Take Care is easily one of the very few songs I know in 10, 20 years time I will listen to and still feel this way about. I’ll remember the day I first heard it. I’ll remember everything surrounding this song. It is the purest form of love and devotion. I think it is a song that everyone needs to have a moment with. Whether it be alone indoors or outside wandering around until everything feels better. You may feel lost, but Beach House always manage to find you and put you back together again. The heal you better than any form of medicine could.

Not everything in life lasts, not everything can leave you in awe. This is why I love Beach House, because they’re like no one else. Take Care is like nothing else I’ve ever heard, and may ever hear.