Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday show with Cheryl Waters, is “Norway” by Beach House from their upcoming album Teen Dream on Sub Pop.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are the Baltimore duo otherwise known as Beach House. Their familiar dreamy pop has taken some twists and turns since coming together in 2004; each of their three releases sounding distinctly different and more complex. Starting from something raw and simple with their debut self-titled album, to the dreamy ethereal pop of their second album Devotion. Their latest album, Teen Dream (set for release on January 26), is their first under Sub Pop and a great addition to the label’s already talented roster. For the new album, Beach House worked with producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead), sequestered upstate (NY) in a church-turned-studio called Dreamland — appropriately named, at least as far as their ethereal debut single “Norway” is concerned. The often icy feel of Beach House is warmed up quite a bit here with Legrand’s voice hanging directly over a driving beat, while twangy guitars stretch and compress like on a My Bloody Valentine outtake or a new Japancakes track. Norway, indeed, but only if it’s on a brisk Fall morning or at the first glimpse of Spring.
Since many of us at KEXP included their first album on our lists of Top Albums of 2006, as well as 2008’s absolutely wonderful Devotion on last year’s, there’s little doubt you’ll be seeing Teen Dream on many of our upcoming lists as well. Speaking of that: don’t forget to tune in for the Best Albums of 2009 countdown on Thursday, December 31, and for the Top Albums of the Decade on Monday, January 4.
As for catching Beach House any time soon on the road (they were at Sasquatch just a few months ago), the band is currently on tour in Europe. You can see where they’ll be next and listen to more of their songs on their MySpace page or you can check out their website, where you can also download an uncompressed copy of “Norway.”
You know we’re big fans of one-shot and otherwise acoustic sessions, so here’s a clip of Beach House performing… on a beach… performing “Used to Be” in a tide-carved crook for the Sydney-based organization Shoot the Player: