tue 23/04/2024

CD: Beach House – Depression Cherry | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Beach House – Depression Cherry

CD: Beach House – Depression Cherry

Exquisite enervation on Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s fifth album

Beach House's 'Depression Cherry': hard to focus on

Though beautiful, Depression Cherry is hard to love. The fifth album from Beach House – Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally – has the fragile exquisiteness of fine lace but is, as ever with the duo, so hazy it proves impossible to surrender to its drifting course. Just when its form seems within reach through an enervated fog, it’s suddenly gone – like vapour absorbed into air.

The customary shadows cast by Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and "Surf's Up" Beach Boys are present and correct, but Depression Cherry still sounds more like Beach House than the musical well they have drawn from since 2006’s eponymous debut album. Pedal steel, Philip Glass-esque rotating keyboard figures, the single-tempo songs and the duo’s defeated-angel voices are instantly recognisable, as is a trademark tendency for a melody to ascend to an apparent crescendo and then, instead of building on it, repeat the refrain which has just been introduced. The repetition contributes to the abstraction and, again, makes Depression Cherry hard to focus on.

There is, though, a new sense of immediacy lurking within the musical mist. Fewer instruments are employed than on predecessor album Bloom, and much of the percussion is electronic rather than acoustic. With Depression Cherry, Beach House have pulled off what ought to be an impossible tautology – bringing directness to the avowedly diffuse.

Overleaf: listen to “Sparks” from Beach House’s Depression Cherry


Listen to “Sparks” from Beach House’s Depression Cherry

When the form of 'Depression Cherry' seems within reach, it’s gone – like vapour absorbed into air


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters