Beach House – Once Twice Melody

Another all-engulfing, pensive package of sonic escapism.

Label: Bella Union
Released: 18th February 2022

With a sound so blissful the unshakable label of dream-pop makes complete sense, Beach House are already the most influential act to operate in the genre this side of the millennium. Pulling on the hallmarks of 90s shoegaze, the ethereal duo demonstrate once again that they can make these sounds current and make them their own.

This intangible tone, which is well-established by now, serves as an effective vehicle for a number of heartfelt emotions delivered by simple stories on this eighth studio album; the romantic failure in ‘Runaway’, cosmic wonderment of ‘Over and Over’ and fusion of pain and joy throughout ‘Hurts To Love’ all convey their provocative messages through rippling waves of auditory texture. Deliberately vague lyricisms allude to our own experiences as captivating expressions such as, “your heart can’t take the games you play, it cuts you like a razor blade,” reach out pleadingly through the hazy soundscape.

The subversive sound of dream-pop is one perfectly matched to such an elongated experience as the four-chapter, 18-track ‘Once Twice Melody’, and Beach House employ the 84 minutes to inspire a deep spiritual yearning – they provide a soft, silky and comfortable environment for soulful introspection. 

Undeniably absorbing fragments of this experience stand proudly alongside the heights of past hits like ‘Space Song’, with ‘Pink Funeral’ in particular making a bold impression with the cosy intertwining of dark organs and shimmering guitars, unrelenting pulse of light drum machines, and wistful, melancholic melodic lines. Victoria Legrand’s vocals are haunting, continuing to flow in your mind long after the record closes.

Rightfully proclaimed genre-defining purveyors of dream-pop, Victoria and Alex effortlessly match their own mountainous standards, delivering yet another all-engulfing, pensive package of sonic escapism. Let yourself be a canvas, and Beach House will paint you a beautiful picture.

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