Beach House’s seventh studio album is appropriately titled 7. Despite the fact that that makes complete sense, it would have also made sense to have named it “Amazing” or “Marvelous” or some other extremely positive adjective, because it is truly that good, that unique, and that captivating. Seriously, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have done it again…but better.
We all saw this coming when the band released their first single for the record “Lemon Glow.” I had listened to it and reviewed it back in February, and I knew then that it was to set up an album that would soon become the beginning of a new Beach House era. That song alone was both abrupt and silky smooth at the same time. It set up the best foundation for this new record. It was the perfect single to release for 7 and an even more perfect song to introduce this whirlwind new era with.
7 is more in depth and arguably darker than ever before — in the best way, though. There is noticeable clarity and conciseness to the album as a whole. The songs intertwine incredibly. Every track has a contemporary feeling to them that reminds me of early Beach House songs, especially ones off of their 2010 record, Teen Dream. It’s still creative, still in Beach House’s wheelhouse, but it’s no longer the quintessential dream pop stylings. Breaking the barriers of music yet again, the duo are making the highest quality lo-fi music, with voices like angels and demons clashing in the night.
There is an intimacy that Legrand creates every time she sings that is mesmerizing. On tracks like “Drunk in LA,” you feel like the song is being sung directly to you. The lyrics take ahold of the song, but Legrand’s voice keeps you on your toes. The dreamy quality that makes Beach House who they are is effortless, but you can never miss it. Beach House has made their mark, so even as the arrangements change and the sets get deeper, there is still a vibe felt that only Beach House can emit.
“Lose Your Smile” takes genre blending and instrument melding to a new level with its acoustic guitars, meeting slide guitars, meeting electric guitars. It’s compelling and withdrawn, and as the organ sets into the background you feel as though the album has just arrived. 7 would not be complete whatsoever without “Lose Your Smile.” It is the song that captures everything that this newly evolved (but also authentic!) Beach House sound is all about. I can barely describe it in a way that does it justice. These are the types of songs that I want to hear on the radio. These are the types of songs that make a new record stand out. These are the types of songs that prove that a little change isn’t always a bad thing.