Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Beach House – Lemon Glow

At one point it was thought Venus might be a tropical paradise, until scientists were able to use radio mapping to observe the crushing pressure on the surface.


Tim de Reuse: It’s 2018, and Beach House has released a Beach House track. If one aspect differentiates this from the back-to-back albums that they released in 2015, though, it’s that the mood is claustrophobic, like your speakers are pumping out the atmosphere of Venus. There are some interesting points — The fun-house synth that starts it all off is distinctive before it gets buried, and the pummeling drums at the end sure are exciting for the fifteen seconds they decide to stick around — but overall the composition is rubbery and dense, and Legrand doesn’t seem to have any interest in raising her voice over the haze. I mean, it’s a sound, I guess, and good on the band for at least making an effort to shake things up, but it feels like an awfully slim difference and it doesn’t improve the formula.

Alfred Soto: I like to imagine Victoria Legrand hosting backyard parties at which she pours glasses of fresh white sangria, her summer dress tossed by a light breeze. Beach House’s music has a similar laundered freshness; it’s also like white sangria, which you shouldn’t drink too much of. Boring too. “Lemon Glow” doesn’t bestir itself — its dissonances are like overdoing it on the club soda when mixing the sangria. 

Ryo Miyauchi: I can’t recall another Beach House lullaby that’s accompanied by such an eager, drunken loop. Paired with distorted guitars, the organ riff overtakes much of the attention from Victoria LeGrand’s evaporating voice. But no matter how loud the music grows in comparison to their softer works of the past, the chorus remains classic Beach House with LeGrand celebrating the preciousness of a deep bond.

Leah Isobel: “Lemon Glow” opens with a sproingy synth that sounds uncharacteristically anxious by Beach House standards. Its paranoid motion obscures Victoria Legrand’s voice and matches her haunted lyrics. But as the song progresses, it melts into the background, allowing Legrand’s perspective to widen; layers of chiming guitar sneak in the mix as if to support her. By the time a snare drum barrels in she practically floats above the rest of the track. It’s not straightforwardly melodic as my favorite Beach House cuts, but there’s physicality and a sense of adventure that looks good on the band.

Jonathan Bradley: “Lemon Glow” has dripping, reverberating guitar and a portentous vocal; it’s the high drama of the Siouxsie and the Banshees mode of gothic rock, only, in the hands of Beach House, the mode is a less theatrical one and more unsettling. A stubborn loop oozes under the track, recurring with insistent futility, while Victoria Legrand’s vocal dissipates like it’s trying to remove itself. For all the intensity, the song is striking for its lack of affect: its willful refusal of clarity or definition. This is staring-at-the-wall-when-you-can’t-feel-anything music. The percussive finale is not a crescendo but a doubling-down.

Katherine St Asaph: Does the Dead Sara title fakeout: not lemon Pledge, like you’d expect, but more citrus incense: a thick haze, reverbed well past the uncanny valley and sickly-claustrophobic, like breathing the air inside a weighted duvet. It isn’t enjoyable, necessarily, but it’s more genuine atmosphere than I thought Beach House, epitome of background music, capable of.

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One Response to “Beach House – Lemon Glow”

  1. some soundcloud rapper could turn this backing track into hot fire