Beach House 

Devotion

Beach House’s 2006 debut was met with a healthy amount of post-release hype, and it’s translated into pre-release buzz for their sophomore release, Devotion. Fortunately, the Baltimore duo delivers more sweeping atmospheric soundscapes that tiptoe somewhere between daylight and darkness. There are still whimsical vocals and incomprehensible lyrics, floating over slide guitars and organs. There’s still a wall of reverb. There’s still reason for relentless comparisons to Mazzy Star and Galaxie 500. But this time there’s also a focus on traditional pop sensibilities. ‘Wedding Bell’ is essentially a Brian Wilson track (complete with a hook from ‘California Girls’) cloaked in gauze. With so much going on throughout the songs, Beach House run the risk of getting the layers tangled together, but manage to escape — although at times narrowly — without sounding like a muddied mess. It's an impressive feat.

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