10 of 2010 (#6): Beach House – Teen Dream

Feature by Ally Brown | 30 Nov 2010

Beach House were fully aware of the majesty of third album Teen Dream as they were preparing it this time last year. “At one point i was more excited about every single song [on Teen Dream] that I had ever been before,” guitarist Alex Scally tells The Skinny, “even songs where I don’t really do anything, like Real Love. There was a recording of that we made and I was trying to figure out how to make this thing hold and I probably listened to it fifty times, every time enjoying every single second of it.”

Teen Dream has been a breakthrough for Beach House, who are now touring with some of the biggest bands in indie music, but they say nothing’s changed since their self-titled debut and its acclaimed follow-up Devotion. “Every record is a different world,” singer Victoria Legrand says, “but the attention on us now I feel is the result of our steady and persistent working. It doesn’t feel that different from what we were doing before but people are now noticing more.”

It’s not glamorous, they insist, and work it certainly is: “I think we’re at the 150 [shows] mark right now for the year, which is pretty crazy”, Alex says. But now that they’ve got here, he doesn’t see the band getting any bigger.

“We make music that’s all about intimacy, I don’t think that would translate to an arena. We played at a 1,500 person place and that blew our mind, it felt great, but I think that might be the limit. We just did a tour with Vampire Weekend and 14,000 people were at the Hollywood Bowl, I think it really taught us where we think the upper extent of our music is. Even if we could sell a show of 2,000 people, it might not work.” Such music-over-money ideals are admirable, and they’re surely about to be tested.