"My hair - it wants to kill things,” was one of the more memorable comments Victoria Legrand made in between songs when Beach House performed at Primavera Sound Festival in late May. Rightly, it seemed to do so that night with vigor and relentlessness. So one could gather that a subsequent show, at Lido in Berlin particularly, would also be rife with Victoria’s head twirling and plenty more things being killed.

As Beach House emerges onto the stage, audience members amass into a sea of sweaty shapes, gravitating toward the front. Guitarist Alex Scally takes a seat and looks out at the crowd while adjusting his guitar strap. He then places his fingers carefully on the strings of his Fender Strat while Victoria breezes over to her keyboard and lowers her head as if taking a bow. The first few notes of “Better Times” are struck and immediately the thick, warm air is sliced through.

Unwaveringly potent and scratched-up earthy, Victoria’s brooding alto rolls over the crowd in somnambulant waves of sultry rawness. Tales of growing old, hazy perceptions, unconditional love, the search for truth and meaning, letting things fade, and brightening others are all relayed through her haunting voice that coupled with Alex’s reverb-soaked guitar, make for a magical swim through serene, dark waters. “Every show is different,” explains Alex, “and we’re not really a daytime band so, often, we have to improvise. We’re more about darkness and theatre.”

These elements are undoubtedly present in the show, as shimmery, diamond-shaped piñatas rotate on cue and dramatic lights and fog are triggered in perfect synchronization with each song’s journey. The chemistry between Alex and Victoria manifests itself as each segment of their dreamy pop perfection unfolds onstage. “The best thing in the world for us is being inspired. So we should do whatever we can to make that happen. Whether it’s less shows or more shows or changing the way we perform. Inspiration is an unnameable quality. It’s not a singular thing. It’s a whole world of energy,” says Alex.

The world Beach House creates is one in which soaring colours tinged with melancholy and bittersweetness glide. Elongated notes, analog keyboard sounds, and Victoria’s distinctive voice fill the room’s crevices with an eerie, magnetic hope. Shivers run down spines and loneliness hearkens not, so long as Beach House keep permeating spaces with their musical mystique.

Text: Yasmin Martinelli | Photography: Federico Testa


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Graham Caldwell



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