Beach House

How do you define the indie cred of a band? Does it have something to do with their Pitchfork rating? The tightness of their skinny jeans? The size of the smoke plume that rises from the audience when they hit their first chords?

I’ve been to countless concerts at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and Monster Island Basement. I’ve volunteered at Brooklyn Grange and can often be found drinking a Sportsman Special at the Levee. I don’t own a pair of skinny jeans, but I’ve got numerous flannels. You’d think all of this would put me more in touch with what it means to have indie cred, but in reality I have no fucking clue and to be honest, I couldn’t give a damn.

But alas, I think I’ve stumbled on something; apathy. Or, to be more specific, the appearance of apathy. The appearance of apathy has been a crucial component of coolness since time immemorial. For some reason, people dig people who are effortlessly good at things.

This is a long way of getting around to the effervescent Beach House concert I saw this past week at Webster Hall. Beach House is Victoria LeGrande and Alex Scally, hailing from Baltimore, MD. But really, they no longer need introduction. The critical and commercial success of their 2010 album Teen Dreams has deservedly launched them into the realm of dream pop stardom.

Beach House is apathetic grandness at its best. They rank high on the indie cred scale. Their dreamy supersonic loops and atmospheric vocals are fantastic and they nailed it on Wednesday night. Highlights of the evening included Norway, Zebra and their closer, 10 Mile Stereo.  The light show was equally impressive, as can be glimpsed in the video below.

Another awesome dream pop band, Papercuts, opened up for them and I sadly arrived right as they were finishing up their set. I had a good excuse though – I was grabbing a burger and watching Carmelo Anthony’s debut as a member of the New York Knicks. Now, there’s a guy with some serious indie cred.

Beach House – Zebra

Beach House – Norway

Beach House – 10 Mile Stereo

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Beach House is my second installment of great albums I initially overlooked in 2010. For some reason I automatically lumped them into the same category as bands like Animal Collective and assumed that I wasn’t cool enough. Beach House is either more accessible or I’ve finally discovered my inner-hipster.

I gave up baths long ago because I didn’t like washing my face with water I was sitting in, but I remember them being relaxing. Listening to Teen Dream is like taking a bubble bath without getting wet.  Its the perfect album for atmosphere , to play in the background without creating distractions. Its brilliantly dreamy without being pretentious. Calling out a few tracks is difficult because Teen Dream is best consumed as a full meal, but if I were forced to do so, Id mention  Zebra, Silver Soul, and Walk In The Park.

Beach House is the creation of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally from Baltimore. Alex works the slide guitar while Victoria provides the keys, organ and  vocals. Teen Dream is their third release. I’ve yet to listen to the other two.

Beach House – Zebra

Beach House – Norway