Dream-pop duo Beach House finds itself in a precarious situation. The Baltimore act long has been weary of the foils of fame, but it’s been flirting with it more and more with each album.
Its latest, Bloom, saw demand for the band hit a fever pitch. The record debuted in the top 10 on Billboard’s album chart, and suddenly, everyone wanted a piece of Beach House.
Multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally just hopes it doesn’t go spiraling out of control.
“It's not about not wanting people to hear you. It's about wanting people to really hear you,” he said. “When you start getting sold, what starts happening is that people aren't fans of the band — they’re fans of one or two songs. They're fans of images of the band, not the band itself.
“People come to the shows and wait for two songs. They don't want to buy an album, they want to download a single. That's not who we are. For our art to get across, people need to hear 10 songs. It's not a pretentious thing where we don't want to be big or don't want to be mainstream — we just want people to hear us for what we really are.”
It’s a far cry away from where he and singer Victoria Legrand found themselves six years ago, playing to handfuls of people.
“We were not good live,” Scally said. “We had no clue what we were doing. Having a slow growth is real important to finding themselves and being confident in their art and not letting things go to the control of managers and labels. Bands are getting too big too fast. It's not good for anyone, because the artists can't mature correctly and make another good record.
Beach House has; 2010’s Teen Dream was its most beloved to date, garnering the duo a spot opening for Vampire Weekend and laying the groundwork for Bloom.
It’s a double-edged sword, however, as some complain Bloom is just more of the same.
“They aren't good music listeners,” Scally said. “We are only Beach House. We're not going to make anything drastically different from who we are. Yes, it sounds like the last album, because we can only be ourselves.”
Bloom may be slightly darker, yet it as beautiful and rich as ever.
“We design this music over a long period of time in a very complex fashion. You'll be hearing something for the first time 10 listens in,” Scally said. “We want music to explore. We want music that is deep. Music that is three-dimensional.”