It’s probably fair to suggest that one can’t listen to Teen Dream, the terrific third album released earlier this year by Beach House, without being besieged by feelings of unbridled nostalgia. The best of Beach House’s songs are situated in the kind of soporific dream state where deep desires are set into rhyming motion with the tinge of vulnerability always inherent in their music; incidentally, singer Victoria Legrand has professed in a recent interview that she wishes people would have sex while listening to Teen Dream.
“Better Times” is executed in the same vein but there seems to be a more profound melancholy at work behind the whirring organ and Alex Scally’s thawing guitars. The music’s bittersweet tone is echoed by the raw intimacy in Legrand’s singing part here, her vocals sounding elegiac and yet brittle as she rhapsodizes about the transience of love and relationships. The song rekindles the sense of guileless romantic longing that has been ever present in all three of their records – even if Legrand sounds wizened by unconsummated romance, “Better Times” still draws its grandeur from the residual memories of being in the arms of someone who once made you feel younger than yesterday. – keith.
Teen Dream is Beach House’s first release on Sub Pop.