Beach House made their big break in Indie Rock in 2006 with their self-titled debut album, which received critical acclaim. Over the last twelve years, Beach House has moved from the Indie genre into more Dream Pop and Psychedelic Pop sounds. Such unique sounds can be heard in their latest studio album, “7”.
“7” marks the seventh full-length album from this Baltimore-based band and was released on 11 May 2018 through the record label Sub Pop, which rose to fame for signing musical giants such as Nirvana and Soundgarden. From “7,” four singles were released from the album, and compared to past album recordings, Beach House recorded “7” during five mini-sessions over a period of eleven months prior to its release in 2018, as opposed to one single studio session.
There is evidence of completely creative mood being used as the song-writing process for "7" as opposed to creating music that is easy to reproduce live. Some songs contain no guitar or keyboard as well as sounds with layers and production that would be very difficult to recreate live, in-concert. The sounds of “7” are heavier and darker compared to their past albums. The heaviness of the percussion in their opening song “Dark Spring” emulate the percussion of a noise-rock hit. The extended rhythmic hum of the guitar in “Dive” mixed with a piercing, siren sound creates a sense of both euphony and uneasiness within the song, as if anticipating what unusual sound will come next.
Victoria Legrand’s voice has been notorious in the Dream Pop scene for its light airiness, but the chorus of “Pay No Mind” having layers of Legrand’s voice over each other deviates from her wisp-like voice to create something deeper and more powerful than we have heard before from a Beach House album. The use of French language seems to be a recognition of Legrand’s French heritage in “L’Inconnue.” The echoing of her voice and breath feels like Legrand is whispering in the listener’s ear, as she fills every sound of the song.
“7” is filled with both sounds of musical darkness and sounds of musical light—sometimes heavy, sometimes strong, sometimes delicate, sometimes subdued, but no matter what, “7” does not aim to take the listener to a specific space or place, but the sensory imagery of their music and the feeling of a dream-like altered state just might make the listener find themselves wanting to take themselves to a specific space or place, wherever that place may be.