In 2012, Beach House started an almost three-year creative hiatus. In interviews, bandmates Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally admitted to feeling sometimes disheartened by the commercial success of their albums, wary of becoming cogs in the corporate machine. That same year, they famously turned down a Volkswagen ad opportunity.
The Baltimore dream pop duo returned to the music game last year with their fifth full-length album, Depression Cherry. "Levitation," the opening track, exemplifies their latest direction. Light, twinkling harmonies and ethereal lyrics give it an airy quality, evoking feelings of melancholy.
Depression Cherry is the third album Beach House has produced for Sub Pop Records, but unlike previous releases, it doesn't try as hard to get your attention. It is quieter, with focus on instruments and lyrics that don't provoke. It seems to be an ode to the band's beginnings and their 2006 eponymous debut.
It's not a perfect album either. Many of the vaporous melodies run into one another, making it hard to distinguish between tracks. Still, "Space Song" and "Sparks" stand out as some of the more pop-inspired singles. It marks a gentle and sweet return for the band. Fans of their beat-centric 2012 album, Bloom, might be disappointed by the change in pace, but for lovers of all things tender, Depression Cherry is Beach House's most simplified and intimate album yet.
Beach House play the Wilma Wed., Aug. 10, at 8 PM. $28/$25 advance.