Consistency!


Beach House – Sparks

BEACH HOUSE ** "SPARKS" (OFFICIAL AUDIO STREAM)

Some bands radically switch up their sound and approach from record to record.

And some find what works, and stay laser-focused on that, with only slight variations and incremental refinements.


Beach House – Levitation

Beach House – Levitation

Beach House is the latter type of band; and their newest, Depression Cherry, is only another totally beautiful record, that you could put in shuffle-rotation with their others and I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which songs came from which records.

And why would it matter, if the records are all pretty much equally languorously-entrancing?


Beach House – Space Song

Beach House – Space Song

I thought I was being a smarty-pants by calling Beach House “Twin Peaks – The Band“, but I see they already beat me to it, by including Leland Palmer in a prior video:


Beach House – Wishes

BEACH HOUSE – "WISHES" – Directed by ERIC WAREHEIM (Official Video) – PLEASE SET TO 1080p!!!

What artists could make basically the same record 5 times, and you’d buy them all?

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21 thoughts on “Consistency!

  1. What artists could make basically the same record 5 times, and you’d buy them all?

    I’m not a fan of any band with a consistent sound. I like to see what my musical heroes have discovered lately and tried to blend into their stuff. How a group could make 5 albums of interchangeable music is beyond me. Musical evolution is what makes a band interesting, at lest to me.

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      • I think at this point AC/DC has become a parody of itself. The Ramones always had a jangle pop group hiding behind all of that black hair. While they might be remembered for the 3 chord beauties they produced, their best stuff is not that.

        While the Beach House stuff is beautiful, it’s beautiful in the way the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are beautiful at their football games. Utterly devoid of meaning, at least to me. And that’s the beauty of art, there’s something for everyone.

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        • Wow, that cheerleaders analogy is…unexpected.

          I’m not sure that this style of music is shooting for ‘meaning’, (I mean, it may well mean something to them), as opposed to conjuring a mood, a feeling, a frame of mind. Different strokes, obvs. – but in “Levitation”, when she sings “There’s a place I want to take you”, in my heart I want to follow.

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          • But don’t you think music is supposed to have meaning? Even if the meaning is I want to get naked with you, as is the case with most pop songs? Otherwise, you have musical wallpaper, or smooth jazz, whatever you want to call it.

            Not too long ago someone posted a mashup of a bunch of modern country songs here at the League, demonstrating the interchangeability of songwriting in Nashville these day. To my ears Beach House is working from the same template.

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            • But the country thing was multiple artists, all working the same vein. This is a single artist, working a sound that right now they pretty much own. As someone who enjoys some ambient/drone type music, I’d also question the assumption that music must always force its way into your consciousness, as opposed to being what it is and letting you choose whether and how to engage with it.*

              To your point below, this post isn’t meant to be a knock on artists that are versatile or questing either; but in my experience, being too versatile is just as likely to lead you to obscurity, as popular success. For every Prince there’s a band like Yo La Tengo that have done all kinds of things and are critical faves because of that, but will probably always be a cult success because there’s not one handy thumbnail/pigeonhole for them. Especially in the visual arts, it seems like the path to mass exposure is often picking one style, and turning out endless variations on it. If Georgia O’Keefe had painted just one flower, no one would care.

              *IIRC you are a musician/songwriter – have you ever tried this trick to help write songs? Put some music that you know very well on when you are going to take a nap. Set the volume so low that you can just barely hear it. As you doze and hear music that is familiar, but not all “there”, your brain will fill in blanks, and make up new melodies from the bits and frequencies that you can’t hear.

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    • I tend to agree. Or at least I give artists that do so bonus points.

      One of the reasons I like Elvis C so much (other than his lyrics) is that he’s always trying things that are way, way outside of his wheelhouse. I don’t always fond those attempts successful, but I appreciate the reaching regardless.

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