• July 28, 2021


Beach House, an indie rock band from Louisiana, released their latest album “Depression Cherry” with generally positive reviews. The album centers around a light, happy, almost psychedelic sound classified as “Dream Pop”.

The album opens with “Levitation”, a soft song featuring a slowly strumming guitar and lightly, quickly tapped cymbals. The album wastes no time establishing a central motif, as a high voice fades in, singing drawn out words about nothing in particular. Second is the album’s only single, “Sparks”, in which the voice becomes a bit quicker and more defined. A low synth accompanies a quietly wailing guitar to create a dream-esque sound. Again, the song is filled with lyrics about very vague and general ideas, establishing no clear theme. The third track, aptly named “Space Song” almost feels like an audio recreation of a sunrise. A light guitar and synth plays, but it is now interrupted by electronic keys trying to simulate the sensation of floating in space. This sensation returns in almost every track on the album. The song reaches it’s peak as the keys play a second time and the singer urges no one at all to “fall back into place”.

If there should be a primary complaint, it is that the album is repetitive. You may very well get bored of it a few tracks in and want to put on something else. The same drums, the same synths, often the same guitar and the same voice accompany most of the tracks. However, that may very well be intentional, as this album is not exactly dance music meant to be played in clubs. It is a soft album, meant to be played in a quiet manner, and it also makes great study music. There is a reluctance to call this album ambient music, but there are some very key similarities. Because one can hardly make out such drawn out lyrics, this “Dream Pop” is hardly pop at all. What is pop without catchy lyrics? Nonetheless, this is a good, interesting album, and while hardly a contender for Album of the Year, it is worth a listen, even if only while doing your homework.

The album is available for purchase on Beach House’s bandcamp page or through their label, Sub Pop. Vinyl and CD versions of the album come lined with red velvet. Beach House has announced tour dates in support of the album, one of which is in Asheville.

One thought on “Beach House’s “Depression Cherry” is a Good, Relaxing Album

  1. It’s quite clear that you have never listened to any music outside of the top 40 if you don’t know what dream pop is and why Beach House is such a big factor in its recent revitalization. You’re probably one of those people that listen to Twenty-One Pilots or Of Monsters and Men or Mumford and Sons or Imagine Dragons and think that you’re “so alternative” or “so indie”. The truth is that all of the bands I named are generic, boring music that deserve all the critical ire they get. While I agree this is not Beach House’s best album(for me that would be Teen Dream, but Bloom and Devotion are also contenders), I think calling it ambient music really just makes you come off as musically ignorant. If you want a true ambient album, listen to another green world by Brian Eno, and then come back to me and tell me that Beach House is “ambient”. Also why are you writing about dream pop if you don’t even know what it is? Dream Pop has always been about beautiful textures surrounding someone with a good voice. If the term “pop” in dream pop is what is confusing you, just call it shoegaze music as the terms are essentially interchangeable. In the future if you want to review music without sounding silly, I’d recommend either reviewing something you’re familiar with(presumably bland pop with “catchy lyrics” or listening to other albums in the genre you’re talking about(Soulvaki by Slowdive, Nowhere by Ride, Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins, Deathconsciousness by Have a Nice Life). Another helpful tip is to have listened to the band before so you can comment on the evolution of the bands sound(though to be honest Beach House’s worst quality is how little it has changed). Even with all this mediocrity you’re still better than Pitchfork however, so you can take solace in that.

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