“Teen Dream” By Beach House

For the last year or so, I’ve been trying to immerse myself in new music. My constant search of hidden treasures of the underground scene has led me to appreciate more the work of independent artists. I’m maintaining an open mind and embracing genres of music I never thought I would ever listened to.  This is the case of “Teen Dream” by Beach House, an album that in just a matter of weeks has earned my love and admiration.

My first impression was generally good. I loved the fresh beats; the absolutely gorgeous voice of Victoria Legrand and the simple but yet so powerful melodies of most of the tracks. The abstract tone of the lyrics makes it a little hard to encapsulate a definite meaning to their songs; however, I believe that the title of the whole album simply works as a hint. Throughout the listening process, the atmospheric feeling that I got was that of an absolute lighthearted and melancholic happiness; very similar to that gorgeous emotion of someone’s freshly in-love. Assuming that most of our best love memories happen in our teenage years, I get the feeling that the main objective of the album is to evoke those precious moments of our youth or simply remind us of how they used to feel.

“Teen Dream” captivated me to such a level , that I found myself not only playing it on repeat many times but even having one of the songs stuck in my head while I tried to sleep. I love when a song is capable to do that.  If I had to choose an immediate favorite one, it would be difficult. The first track: “Zebra” is beautiful and uncomplicated at the same time. (This could be said of the album cover as well.) Its instantaneous catchy combination of guitar and drums go together with the straightforward singing and the dreamy tonality of the background voices which makes this track so unbelievably upbeat that it became one of my favorite ones. However, “Silver Soul” was amazing too. Rhythmically undemanding, the track has such an amazing guitar tune and an astonishing vocal lyricism that I couldn’t stop thinking about the physical magnetism of a relationship. The following songs:  “Norway,” “Walk in the Park” and “Used to be” had the same effect. To me, the first five songs of the album are a delightful and compact whole. I’m sure I will be talking about them in next posts to come.

From the last part of the album, I choose “10 Mile Stereo” for its beautiful lyrics, “Real Love” for its striking instrumentation and “Take Care” for being a perfect ending to the album. This last song is not just a farewell but it also leaves you asking for more.  I found “Lover of Mine” and “Better Times” a little unfitting. Time would dictate if I can get to like them.

In overall, my first experience with Beach House was very pleasant to the ears and highly stimulating (emotionally speaking.)  Nevertheless, I’ll be researching a little bit more about the band and their lyrics so I can get a wider picture of what they are trying to express with their music. For now, I really recommend the album.

Rating 3 ½ out of 5

Waiting for.. The Daily Mail.

I’ve been listening to Radiohead since I was 10 years old. I would sneak into my uncle’s room (who was the rebel soul of our family) and listen to all the weird rock music he owned. From his Beatles’ collection to Nirvana and Pink Floyd, I would spend hours trying to decipher what the hell those singers were babbling in a language unknown to me back then. However, none of them amazed me more than Radiohead and their “Ok Computer” album (hence the name of this blog.) I felt connected to their music in such an unbelievable manner that they became my favorite band automatically.

Much changed since those days. I discovered lots of different genres and bands and artists. I learned English and acquired a better understanding of the music I listened to. And although, it’s almost impossible not to fall into the mainstream music trap nowadays; I’m still that childish soul looking for highly dosages of catharsis. Radiohead with their complexity, always seem to work. So when professor Dunphy asked us to analyze “The Daily Mail” I was very excited to do so!

As a fan of the band, I had previously listened to “The Daily Mail” a couple of times. The compelling melodic mood of the song begins with a beautiful and melancholic piano backed up by the sometimes unintelligible voice of Yorke. It might be complicated to understand what he is singing, but to me, it doesn’t matter. The story is there: full of calm and serene emotion. However, the song then falls into a sudden convergence of dissonant but gentle sounds and ends in what is probably my favorite part of the song: crashing chords, powerful drums accompanied by overwhelmingly delicious guitar riffs that seem to be full of anger. Yorke’s highlights the lyrics by using his distinguishable tone changes. It is almost like he is telling you to wake up from whatever hypnotic state you are (the one he actually put you in with his relaxed introduction.)

The lyrical part of the song was a little bit more challenging. I know the title of the song must have some relation to the known British tabloid paper. I’m acquainted with Thom Yorke’s undeniable political and social criticism; therefore, I think this is an indirect message towards those in charge of the journalism industry. He sings:

“Where’s the truth? What’s the use?

I’m hanging around lost and found

And when you’re here, innocent

Fat chance, no plan
No regard for human life

Is he asking the media to show the truth? Does he know he might not be heard? Is he just like us? Lost in a world of too much information? Or is it disinformation? Do we care?

(Probably we don’t.)

It is hard to know for sure what Yorke means. And even though my hypothetical explanation might be farfetched; I believe in it. I enjoy the song much more with that meaning. It’s personal and special.

Rating 5/5.