Review: Beach House – ‘Lemon Glow’

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Hypnotic

'Lemon Glow' is an atmospheric, sinister track that transports you somewhere else entirely

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Beach House has a knack for crafting gorgeous dream-pop with the power to transport the listener to another place entirely. 2015’s Thank Your Lucky Stars¸ however, stirred concerns within fans that the band were stagnating in their sound, struggling to progress after the soaring Bloom and sumptuous Depression Cherry. ‘Lemon Glow’, the first single from their upcoming release, shows that Beach House can stick to their melancholic dream-pop roots whilst still expanding their sound into darker territories.

The song features an acidic, pulsing synth line that permeates the entirety of the song. Whilst perhaps difficult to hook the listener to begin with, it eventually sucks you into its hypnotic repetition, slowly washed over as the song adds more elements to the mix. The trance-like programmed drums and gloomier, darker synth lines begin to build as the track progresses, eventually metamorphosing into a different beast altogether. Punctuated by a howling, fuzzed-out guitar line, the song’s tone shifts, taking on a sinister air as singer Victoria LeGrand’s vocals echo, repeat and submerge the listener within an ocean of noise. A crescendo of booming drums suggests the song is building to a natural release, but Beach House opt for a sudden ending, a cut-off that pulls you out of the song’s hypnotic gaze. These instrumentals are set to an excellent music video – its trippy, hallucinatory visuals complementing the atmosphere of the song perfectly.

‘Lemon Glow’ feels like daring new territory for Beach House – not only in its peculiar instrumental but also within its lyrics. The band’s songs tend to have uplifting melodies, but with lyrics depicting damaged people, childhood trauma and lost loves – creating a bittersweet and melancholic ambience to their music. ‘Lemon Glow’ is different, with LeGrand’s vocals promoting a sense of intimacy – “When you turn the lights down low / lemon colour, honey glow” – but contrasted against such sinister instrumentals, the song takes on a new tone, of mystery, obsession and dependency – “it’s what you do / this pulls me through”. This is Beach House at their most experimental, and it bodes well for their upcoming album.

Lemon Glow is out now via Bella Union

 

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Music reviewer and real human being. Loves anything that can have the word 'alternative' tacked onto it somewhere.

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