BEACH HOUSE Depression Cherry

The Fizz drifts off to the hypnotic sound of 'Depression Cherry', the latest opus from leading indie-popsters Beach House


French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally, aka Beach House

French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally, aka Beach House

One album has been on constant play at Fizz HQ since its release in 2012. Beach House's last outing 'Bloom' was a sublime affair, catchy guitar riffs, ethereal soundscapes and insistent rhythms all topped with Victoria Legrand's soaring vocals. The enigmatic sleeve artwork provided just the right amount of mystery with its skewed field of dots. So we've been feverishly awaiting the arrival of new album 'Depression Cherry', keen to see what Baltimore's finest duo does next.

Encased in dark red velveteen, the album artwork is soft to the touch, begging to be stroked. Unfortunately, it all goes a bit wrong after that. The cd sleeve is a tricky gatefold, containing a pointless booklet of Photoshopped pictures and a basic black and white envelope to house the album. After two days, the sleeve is buckling badly and the red flocking is shedding. Brian Roettinger's design is overblown and overworked. A simplified version with a single sleeve and the inner liner would have been enough. As it is it's a case of more is definitely less. 

The album itself carries on in much the same vein as its predecessor albeit in a much more laidback vein. The tracks share the same tempo and sleepy mood throughout, blending together in a soporific assault on the senses. The sparkle of 'Bloom' has been replaced with a reflective lethargy, however shafts of light are provided by 'Space Song', 'Bluebird' and 'PPP' as Alex Scally's lyrical guitar perfectly complements Legrand's effortless vocals. 'Depression Cherry' will rightfully be hoovered up by Beach House fans around the world but this time around we'd advise ditching the physical purchase and embracing the download...

'Depression Cherry' is out now on Bella Union
Picture: Shawn Brackbill