Beach House - “Once Twice Melody” Album Review
Baltimore dream-pop act, Beach House, is back with some of their best material on their eighth studio album, “Once Twice Melody.” It is their most grandiose and unique record to date.
The album took over three years to develop, and was released in four “chapters” throughout the latter half of 2021, which concluded in February of 2022. Each chapter contained four or five songs leaving the whole record with 18 tracks, and it totaled a runtime of an hour and 25 minutes. This is around double the length compared to their typical release.
Each section flows beautifully into the next. Each chapter tells its own story, but when combined, the story becomes even more fascinating and marvelous. It is impossible not to get lost in the world that Beach House has created.
Lead singer Victoria Legrand and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally wrote, recorded and produced everything by themselves. This is the first time that they were given the helm to have total creative control, and this paid off immensely. Having no restrictions led the duo to release the best Beach House album in arguably a decade.
Beach House expands on its sound while exploring more detail-oriented and melodic elements, which makes for its most extraordinary record to date.
The consistency through the entire project is unreal, it seems like at least two out of every chapter could end up on a “greatest hits” album. The title track and opener competes with “Zebra” and “Myth” as the best introduction in their discography.
The entire first chapter is painful yet gorgeous. Nearly every track is about heartbreak but is all crafted so particular that it is the opposite of formulaic. Here, listeners begin to understand how meticulous this storybook of songs is.
On every track, there are so many elements and instruments playing at the same time that it is near impossible to pick everything up at once. The live orchestration used on several songs adds much more emotion and feeling to the already heart-throbbing tracks.
More than half of the record is perfect crying material, but a certain portion of it is more lively than Beach House has ever been. There are plenty of fast-paced tracks accompanied by enormous electric guitar riffs and surreal soundscapes.
The mixing and mastering are perfect as well. Despite everything that is going on, no instrument is ever overbearing.
There is a sense of illusion, mystery and serotonin that every track brings to the table. A majority of the tracks are on the longer side and they all have incredible payoffs. For a record that is so complex, somehow it is also some of their easiest material to get into.
There is something for everyone to enjoy. There is plenty of pop appeal, while also combining elements of rock, shoegaze and 80s music. At the same time, it feels like the record could be a movie soundtrack.
“Once Twice Melody” is a fairytale. With some of the most immersive and captivating music released by the duo in years, it seems like a warm hug being received by a loved one after not seeing them for a while. It is hard to not get lost in the beautiful fantasy that they have created, and it is even harder trying to not come back.
Beach House proves that the wait was worth it and that they have not slowed down in terms of quality and creativity whatsoever. -Caelan Chevrier
Reviewers Favorite Tracks: "Superstar," "New Romance," "Masquerade"
Reviewers Least Favorite Track: "Runaway"
Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Journalism