The intrigue of Beach House, composed of Baltimore duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, stems from their minimalism. Albums seemed to be endless, largely unbroken by variation or complexity. Within the empty stretches of Depression Cherry’s “Days of Candy” or Bloom’s “Lazuli,” the mind wandered, filling in gaps with daydreams. Beach House was the music to bring on long plane rides. Suspended in air, their lethargic pull dissolved time, holding every second spellbound — forever immortalized in the amber of repetitive melodies and even-toned vocals.
Beach House’s newest single, “Lemon Glow” builds off of the band’s trademark creeping sensuality, but sharpens it. The hazy smudge that their past discography left behind becomes more defined with every layered component. “When you turn the lights down low / Lemon color, honey glow,” Legrand sings, and the tempo pulses underneath, unwavering. Organ meshes with keyboard meshes with electronic abstraction until the song itself vibrates with tension — the final build into “Candy-colored mystery / The color of your mind” is a dramatic cacophony. There’s an abrasiveness here that isn’t normally heard with Beach House. Vocals are harsher, brought into focus through the jarring kick of an unwavering synth line. Somewhere, almost lost in the dissonance, a bass drum races on.
“Lemon Glow” is constantly in motion and hopefully this is indicative of a new direction for Beach House, a much-needed change after the dreary trudge of their last full album, 2015’s Thank Your Lucky Stars.