Baltimore based duo, Beach House, had just released its latest album, B-Sides and Rarities. The naming of the album is pretty self explanatory, it gathers Beach House’s works in retrospect, including 2 new tracks that signify the duo’s musical style that have far evolved from the way they sounded years ago. The new track that Beach House shared as a first single was Chariot, released back in May. Along with Chariot, there’s another new track that quickly became one of my favorite, Baseball Diamond. Those two were joined with other tracks that have been featured before in their EPs and exclusive releases.
Beach House as usual tries to evoke vivid imagery through its vague, ambiguous lyrics. For instance, Baseball Diamond’s lyrics remind me to the band’s music video of Wishes, a track from their previous album, Bloom (2012). The video was set in a sports field, with people in uniforms frolicking in the lush green terrain. Victoria whispers “I want you to win”, possibly cheering up one of the players. But such superficial readings don’t apply to Beach House’s works; there are layers to it that seemed undecipherable, although Victoria has stated in numerous interviews that their works are bound to be interpreted freely by their listeners, as she doesn’t want to clearly define their ambiguity.
The band is known for having surprises up in their sleeves. Two years ago, they released Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Star simultaneously within two months interval of each other and the albums soon became an internet sensation. B-Sides and Rarities stands as a pleasant surprise on its own. Most of the album’s tracks are probably familiar to the ears of those who have faithfully followed the musical journey of Beach House. And for those who are new to the band’s equivocal realm, the album serves as an in depth introduction to the band’s musical explorations.