Beach House: Devotion (Arch Hill)

 |   |  1 min read

Beach House: You Came To Me
Beach House: Devotion (Arch Hill)

Anyone who was dropped into New Zealand music in the 80s and 90s would have thought that (for the most part) they had arrived in some grim North England industrial town: black moods, anger, negativity and cynicism -- and the shoe-gazing bands dressed to match. There was a lot of sullen music around and I guess young musicians thought that by being cynical they were also dark and interesting.

Maybe they were . . . although I rarely fouind them so.

But in the past decade there has been quite a change and many Kiwi musicians don't look out their window and see the menacing surf of the black sand West Coast or a Colin McCahon painting, they see the blue Pacific and the colours of Polynesia.

Bands like the Tokey Tones, the Brunettes, the Ruby Suns, The Darlings, Phoenix Foundation and many more (and the off-shoots from these outfits) bring a more sunny and summery attitude -- and it is very welcome.

Into this new and now receptive world step Beach House who are Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand (niece of composr Michel) from Baltimore, and like many others in that local list mentioned they seem to admire Brian Wilson, widescreen but highly focused pop music and the Beatles as much as Velvet Underground, Elliott Smith and melancholy indie-pop.

So here are melodies which drift languidly, vocals like distant clouds in a summer sky, appealingly lo-fi sounds of organ and beat box, a touch of Eno-like ambience . . .

If any of those local names above apppeal to you then my guess is this album will be made to feel right at home in your place.

Utterly seductive -- and, given our summertime instincts, the band name seems entirely appropriate.

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Eastern: Arrows (Social End Product/Rhythmethod)

The Eastern: Arrows (Social End Product/Rhythmethod)

The Eastern out of Christchurch are new to me although for the past few months their name has been mentioned a lot, always along the lines of, "Oh, you gotta hear the Eastern." Now I... > Read more

Bruce Soord/Jonas Renkse: Wisdom of Crowds (Kscope/Southbound)

Bruce Soord/Jonas Renkse: Wisdom of Crowds (Kscope/Southbound)

The return of progressive rock has been stealthy in the past decade with British bands like Muse, Anathema, Porcupine Tree (lead by Steven Wilson) and The Pineapple Thief (founder Bruce Soord)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FRANCES HODGKINS; EUROPEAN JOURNEYS edited by CATHERINE HAMMOND and MARY KISLER

FRANCES HODGKINS; EUROPEAN JOURNEYS edited by CATHERINE HAMMOND and MARY KISLER

There is a delightful little watercolour – smaller than an A4 sheet – painted by Frances Hodgkins in 1930. It is of a gateway on the Riviera. She was 31 and on her way to Britain... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Sony Legacy)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Sony Legacy)

The reputation of the late Johnny Cash is supported by such strong poles that even his worst moments cannot shake his legacy. Those hefty props include his early Sun sessions, his themed... > Read more