10 seconds into the first track of Depression Cherry and you’re immersed into what you immediately know is the sound of Beach House — the steady crescendo of violins, staccato percussion and Scally’s throbbing guitar. It’s all there, and four records later Beach House still have it – “it” meaning a number of things, but most importantly, longevity.
Depression Cherry feels like the loftiest day dream of them all; they’ve subdued the billowing drums of Bloom and upped the synths and guitars, giving the album a shimmery, dreamier, more hypnotic feel, something like the sound of the Cocteau Twins.
But while the Baltimore duo transport us through worlds, we nevertheless feel grounded — it’s that signature drone Legrand threads through every track, always keeping the root of a chord humming throughout the entire song.
‘Levitation’ is the biggest and loudest track, the crescendo builds from the first second of the song and never quite reaches a final point, but rather winds back, and maybe that’s the idea. Legrand sings, “There’s a place I want to take you,” and it doesn’t feel like a destination, more like a plea to get away. It’s utterly romantic, with heavy undertones of melancholy and transience.
But the rest of the tracks feel toned down compared to their previous records. In ‘Days of Candy’, the last song of the short lived album, Legrand is almost a lachrymose whisper, while a gentle choir echoes her vocals. Then almost ironically she sings, “I know it comes too soon.”
Upon release Beach House said Depression Cherry was about getting back to their roots, and that is evident in ‘Wildflower’, it’s languid sustains and pop percussions are a homage to their previous records.
Depression Cherry is a gorgeous album, and while many dream-pop artists create a whirlpool of sounds that are less than memorable, Beach House have cemented their sound and created a wonderful conflation of pleasure and sadness. A well thought through formula that seems to work well every time.
Depression Cherry is available now through iTunes.