9. Beach House - Teen Dream (Bella Union)

on Sunday, 26 December 2010
Etheral would be an understatement, dreamlike and majestic sounds filled this album making it a welcome companian whatever the weather, mood or time of day. Zebra, Used to Be and Norway set the standard for great music this year few songs managed to match up to both the brilliance but also the understated immediacy of each track, dynamics barely there instead songs that trotted along in third gear and never feeling the need to accelerate or drop the pace, like a long walk outside of the city, no distractions, just you and nature, simple and beautiful.

Find more artists like Beach House at Myspace Music

Spoiler : What Boomkat Said:
One of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2010, Beach House's Teen Dream follows up the massively lauded Devotion, the album that saw this Baltimore duo reach creative maturity back in 2008. Since then the formula hasn't been tampered with too much, and instead Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand continue to pursue the spartan, hazy tenderness of their prior successes, but with a more developed ear for songwriting and a heightened melodic purpose. Former 7" single, 'Used To Be' is included here, and represents a punchier, somehow more full-blooded incarnation of the band's sound. Similarly, on early highlights like 'Silver Soul' there's a more forceful quality to the mix, something underlined by Legrand's soaring vocals. Following on directly, the woozy, unstable synth tunings of 'Norway' bring a blissfully disorientating quality to what might otherwise sound not unlike a lo-fi, more minimal arrangement of something Fleet Foxes could have come up with - albeit with added Liz Fraser-style vocal tics in the chorus. Production from Chris Coady (a veteran of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear and TV On The Radio recordings) preserves the beautiful dream-pop gauziness that helped make this band so unique in the first place, but avoids following the sound through to any excessively dissolved, chill-waved conclusion. The result is an album of greater substance than either of its predecessors, and one that gradually reveals its understated brilliance over repeated listens.