In the past two years, Beach House's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have come full circle, from Carpark to Sub Pop, from dingy Baltimore clubs to aseptic arenas. The hype surrounding the band has changed as well, from fawning adulation to snide derision — an unavoidable shift when you add in this massive tour with Vampire Weekend, a band that's become the ultimate hipster litmus test. Beach House specializes in majestic decay and depressive slowcore. The duo never sounds like a duo, thanks to Legrand's inimitable vocals, which are stacked sky-high atop sweeping, atmospheric organ and dread-inducing bass. She's a master of mood manipulation, whether on the smoky dysphoria of "Gila" or the epic, hopeful crash of "10 Mile Stereo." While Beach House's second (and best) album, Devotion, is the perfect soundtrack for languishing in the velvet-lined pit of unrealistic love, this year's Teen Dream diversifies: The album sheds apprehensive but elegant gloom in favor of honeyed rhythms and mile-wide choruses.
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