Beach House – 7

While the fruits of their reinvention aren't always compelling here, 7 is still a solid first step heralding Beach House's next phase

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 08 May 2018
Album title: Beach House
Artist: 7
Label: Bella Union
Release date: 11 May

When Beach House released Lemon Glow, the lead track from their seventh album, it was a sign of what was to come. In its looping, hypnotic synth layers and dark, pulsating undercurrent, the duo hinted at possible new horizons.

Sure enough, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have approached 7 a bit differently to their previous albums. After releasing B-Sides and Rarities last year, they adopted a new creative process. Instead of restricting their instrumentation to whatever they could feasibly play live, they’ve gone wherever their creative flow has taken them, with co-producer Sonic Boom helping the pair to further shed conventions.

As Lemon Glow suggested though, Beach House haven’t completely started anew and changed direction. Rather, they’ve built on the sound they’ve forged over the years and added to it, with textured opener Dark Spring heralding this shift by combining scuzzier, reverb-laden elements with prettier harmonies and guitar flourishes. Legrand’s voice ethereally echoes around the dramatic L’Inconnue, the arpeggiated melody running underneath Black Car lends a crisp, glacial contrast to the surrounding fuzz, while Dive gives their usual weightless touch a deeper, bass-laden underbelly. The fruits of their reinvention aren’t always so compelling though, as on the rather plodding Pay No Mind. But while they may not have completely achieved seventh heaven here, 7 is still a solid first step heralding Beach House’s next phase.

Listen to: Dark Spring, Black Car