At its core, Beach House’s sound hasn’t changed much since the Baltimore dream pop duo released its self-titled debut six years ago. But with each new release, the band has continued to refine its sound and their fourth album, Bloom, is no different. Alex Scally’s droning guitar on album opener “Myth,” immediately harkens back to 2010’s Teen Dream and Victoria Legrand’s vocals are still as airy and beautiful as always. Something about Bloom, though, is decidedly different. For the first time in their career, Beach House sound more like a real band than a duo.
From the more prominent and intricate percussion on tracks like “Wild” to the distorted rock guitar on “The Hours,” the band sounds fuller than ever. Legrand’s voice floats more clearly over the mix than on previous releases, showing off the vocalist’s range and goading listeners to sing along. Scally even finds himself in the forefront occasionally, often contributing solo guitar parts absent of Legrand’s driving melodies.
More than anything, though, Bloom is incredibly catchy. Though a couple of the songs near the middle of album (“Troublemaker,” “New Year”) perhaps fall a little flat, tracks like “Other People” — which the band has been testing with audiences on their last tour — are addictively good. The band is still able to evoke the same longing emotions they were able to achieve on Beach House and Devotion, but it is the band’s newfound energy coupled with such touching melodies that ultimately make Bloom difficult to stop listening to.
Though most of the songs on Bloom maintain the same verse-chorus-coda structure as the songs on Teen Dream, it sounds as if Beach House have finally pinned down the sound they have always strived to achieve. Simply put, Bloom is Beach House at its best and with the band seemingly churning out new releases every two years, the next two will undoubtedly be a painful wait.