Beach House is a dream pop duo from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2004. The band consists of French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and has been followed by Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010, and Bloom in 2012.
Formation and Beach House
Vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally formed the band in 2004 after meeting in Baltimore's indie rock scene, producing music composed largely of organ, programmed drums, and slide guitar. Of the origins of the band name, Scally said: "We’d been writing music, and we had all these songs, and then there was that moment where you say ‘what do we call ourselves?’ We tried to intellectualize it, and it didn’t work. There were different plant-names, Wisteria, that kind of thing. Stupid stuff. But, once we stopped trying, it just came out, it just happened. And it just seemed perfect."In an interview Pitchfork Media, Legrand addressed their unique two member status; "[I]t's a way to challenge ourselves: What do you do when it's just the two of you... [O]ne of the reasons this has been such a fulfilling experience for me is that with two people, it's so much easier to achieve things that feel exciting and new."
The song "Apple Orchard" was featured on a Pitchfork Media MP3 mixtape in August 2006. In October 2006 the band's self-titled debut album, Beach House, was released through Carpark Records. That year, Pitchfork Media ranked it 16th on its Best Albums list.
Devotion and other projects
Beach House's second album, Devotion, was released on February 26, 2008. It was received with similar acclaim and was included in Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2008 list.On October 21, 2008, the group released the single "Used to Be".
Beach House also recorded a cover of Queen's "Play the Game" for the iTunes Store release of the Red Hot Organization's 2009 compilation, Dark Was The Night.
In 2009, Legrand provided backing vocals on the song "Two Weeks" by the indie rock band Grizzly Bear. She later collaborated with the band again by providing vocals to "Slow Life", the band's contribution to the soundtrack for the film Twilight: New Moon.
Teen Dream, the duo's "dynamic and intense"third album, was released on Sub Pop on January 26, 2010.The album was released in the UK by Bella Union and in Mexico by Arts & Crafts. It contains a newer version of their 2008 single "Used to Be". "Norway" was made available as a free download on the band's website on November 17, 2009;and promoted on iTunes as the Free Single of the Week starting January 12, 2010. The album was produced and engineered by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear).The album's unanimously good reviews have gained the band a much larger fan base, with Jay-Z and Beyoncé being spotted at the band's shows.
Teen Dream was listed as No. 5 on Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2010:
Teen Dream did little to alter Beach House's core characteristics-- slow-motion beats layered with hazy keyboard drones, rippling guitar figures, and Victoria Legrand's melancholic melodies-- but greatly amplified them to the point of redefining the band's essence, from that of introverted knee-gazers into an assured, emotionally assertive force.--Stuart Berman
Of the success of album and it being dubbed the group's "breakout" record by numerous publications, Legrand stated: "I see this as just another step in a direction. I would not want to say that 2010 will be our year, necessarily, I hope it’s just another year in which we do good work. I don’t want to be defined by this year, I want it to just be a beginning."
On March 7, 2012 the band streamed a new song, "Myth", from their website. The album Bloom was released on May 15, 2012 via Sub Pop. A second song from the album, "Lazuli", was released on April 13, 2012. Beach House was featured on the cover of Issue #80 of the Fader. A music video for "Lazuli" was released on June 6, 2012, directed by Allen Cordell, who also directed the video for "Walk in the Park" from Teen Dream. A music video for the track "Wild" has also been released. A music video for "Wishes" directed by Eric Wareheim and starring Ray Wise was released on March 7, 2013.
Victoria Legrand – lead vocals, keyboards
Alex Scally – guitar, bass pedals, keyboards, backing vocals
Daniel Franz – drums, percussion
Beach House (Carpark Records, 2006)
Devotion (Carpark Records, 2008)
Teen Dream (Sub Pop Records, 2010)
Bloom (Sub Pop Records, 2012)
Singles and EPs
"Apple Orchard" (2006)
"Master of None" (2006)
"Heart of Chambers" (2008)
"You Came to Me" (2008)
"Used to Be" (Carpark Records, 2009)
"Norway" (Bella Union, 2010)
"Zebra EP" (Sub Pop Records, 2010)=
"I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun" (2010)
"Lazuli" (Sub Pop Records, 2012)