Become by Beach House album review by Otis Cohan Mone for Northern Transmissions



Beach House

Become EP is much more dense and cold than Once Twice Melody, however, it is still friendly and tactile, although it must be treated with a little caution.

Every time you get ready to turn on a Beach House album – you know exactly what it's going to be and you get it, always. Their almost 20-year career is a unique way of descending to the ground from nowhere and giving people real ecstasy from the most pleasant music. Every time they arrive with new album – it feels like a slow entry of a huge cruising yacht into the bay at night, full of lights and hundreds of passengers standing on the deck, looking off into the distance. The latest full-length release from 2022 – the double "Once Twice Melody" – was the most epic, lush and festive album among all discography. The band seemed to release their biggest and most inspiring album of all to date – and this feeling eventually made it one of the best of the previous year.

But this time the band appeared on the horizon as if with lowered sails, releasing the Become EP with 5 outtakes in honor of the beloved Record Store Day. Its more shady and introverted sound is also emphasized by the cover – instead of blinding bright colors, Become EP appears as two iron keys in a bundle in front of a black emptiness. The duo members themselves describe this release as a collection of songs that were composed during the recording of Once Twice Melody, but were later discarded and eventually formed their own world. Indeed, the compositions from here turn to darker tones, but still remain in dream-pop area. The emphasis here has shifted to guitars, a tragic-romantic atmosphere, sometimes even reaching the semblance of shoegaze or indie rock, sounding like Soccer Mommy. Become EP is much more dense and cold than Once Twice Melody, however, it is still friendly and tactile, although it must be treated with a little caution – its outlook full of metallic ringing, reverb, detachment, a pinch of sharpness and gothic, as if these were Ethel Cain songs.

However, it's not hard to see why the band decided not to board these songs to the album, because to some extent Become EP material feels a bit alienated and inferior, as if lacking in level of development to that perfectly balanced tempo that we used to hear on previous Beach House material. Even given the short length and conciseness of the original release idea, the songs don't always have enough variety and ideas to fully justify their length, as well as the lyrics feel a little labored and simple. On previous albums they were always distinguished by their beautiful and gentle word combinations, neatly complementing the sound caressing the ears. Here, situations and epithets are sadly weaker and more colloquial, as if trying to be more earthly and human, but not fantasy-surreal, as it was before. Probably it was illogical to expect something comparable to the full-length albums here, but these disappointing aspects leave a feeling of understatement and insignificance of Become EP, which you don't want to feel and associate with Beach House music. But as a release serving as a kind of previously unseen image of the band, demonstrating their flexibility and musical capabilities – Become EP will be a truly interesting and pleasant surprise.

Order Become by Beach House HERE


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