In the modernized world of dream-pop, Beach House reigns supreme. The sonic architecture Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand build is entrancing, inviting, and ideal for deep contemplation. The duo weaves a textured blanket of sound that makes the real world seem less cold. To the delight of fans constantly longing for these mellow meditations, less than two months after Beach House released their fifth LP Depression Cherry, the band unexpectedly dropped Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Although the nine songs were recorded at the same time as those on Depression Cherry, the band, via Twitter, described the release as “not a companion to Depression Cherry or a surprise, or b-sides.” Even so, the more minimal instrumentation and keyboard-centered soundscapes of both records make them undoubtedly of similar company. If Depression Cherry is the breath in, Thank Your Lucky Stars is the breath out.
The quicker pace of album standouts “Majorette” and “All Your Yeahs,” is not a product of joy but rather a reaction to the respective realizations within. The hazy dance of “Majorette” finds Legrand understanding, “if there was nothing left to lose / then you’d have something to prove” while the uncomplicated guitar plodding in the background of “All Your Yeahs,” gives her space to breathe and realize, “It’s your life / do you right.” In another highlight, Legrand’s ghostly tones wander throughout “The Traveller” for chill-inducing results.
For those who crave the escape the band provides, the sudden treat that is Thank Your Lucky Stars is intoxicating. But for those looking outside the walls of Beach House, there’s a density to this album that’s almost suffocating. Beach House moves from dreamy to soporific in “One Thing,” a guitar-heavy track that gets tangled in its own reverb, and likewise in the brooding “Rough Song” whose sharp keyboard riff can’t wake it from its slumber.
When Thank Your Lucky Stars isn’t lost in its melancholy, the band’s (always) gorgeous production makes it entrancing. Then again, a soundtrack to sadness by Beach House is something to be thankful for.