Why do I love the music that I love so much? What drives the whirlwind of emotions that tunnel up like a cyclone when I hear specific songs or records? This question has honestly been haunting me this past week. I think it’s the same one as why do we love the people we love? What draws me to a certain man? A certain friend? Why does a certain baby seem like the cutest one on earth? The human experience is so subjective and so beautiful in its individuality. I remember I used to adore records and love them simply because I didn’t know anyone else who listened to them but me. I thought they were solely mine and that was the largest part of why they were so close to my heart. I’d stop listening to them when they hit the radio waves, kicking them to the curb like a cheating husband.
So now that I’ve questioned everything about existence I can circle back around to the subjective, individual question of today, why is it that I love Beach House so much? I have actually faced a great deal of harassment and ridicule for the magnitude of love I have for their latest record “Bloom.” Sure, everybody on earth loved “Teen Dream,” that seems kind of like a given with an album title like that. I still wake up some days with refrains from ’10 Mile Stereo’ in my head. I was also finishing up my senior year of college when I heard that record, so we’ll say the staying power of those memories had something to do with a significant moment, but they are still among the best pop songs I have ever had the privilege of loving.
So “Bloom” why? I think it may have something to do with the fact that I loved reading fantasy and sci-fi novels when I was younger, that I loved comic books and those endless series of books that stretched on and on about magical powers and freakish islands where wizards quietly saved the universe while everyone else complained about the temperature of their tea. Album opener ‘Myth’ isn’t just about a myth or talking about stories of ancient half-gods, it addresses the myths we try to build for ourselves, how we try to make these fantasies real. It talks about people like me, the people who are still obsessed with the idea that somehow our lives hold magic and wield powers beyond human comprehension, we just haven’t discovered them yet.
‘Wild’ ? It is the perfect soundtrack for my adventure through the west and discovering new land, ‘Other People’ is the story of the outsiders who want to get inside of the perfect love story I’m going to have. ‘Lazuli’ is the name of the planet I’m going to discover when I’m an astronaut. ‘The Hours’ is the haunting heartbreak of how long I have to wait to be back with the love of my life, the only one who makes any of this world make any sense at all. I haven’t heard a recent song more full of hope than ‘New Year’ or one more filled with longing than ‘Wishes’.
There’s a reason they call Beach House “dream pop”, but it goes beyond the sound or the need for a trendy new genre name or the airy feeling of aura based melodies that the band has created. Beach House is built upon dreams, the name itself tells you that, as a beach house is part of the vague American dream of happiness, wealth and intrigue. Vacations and love and good things are all supposed to be contained in beach houses, part of their mystery lying in the fact that they remain empty for most of the year. Same with our lives all too often, they remain empty and we don’t express the fantastical notions we used to treasure.
We forget about Indiana Jones, Star Wars and The Never Ending Story (see, I’m not just obsessed with Harrison Ford). We forget about magic and we forget about dreams. We forget that we can be ethereal and spiritual, we forget that buildings used to not be here, just beaches and oceans and waves crashing and sea shells and there was a reason myths were made up, because life was just too beautiful to make any logical sense. The myths and fantasies contained on Beach House’s record “Bloom” remind us of those things. The people who find it boring or sleepy aren’t listening to the lifeblood of dreams that runs through this record. They aren’t remembering their own childhood dreams or singular love affairs with unknown records.
If you haven’t given this record a chance, then you should. If you have and you haven’t felt what I’m talking about, then I feel sorry for you, but I think there’s still hope. Try listening to it with the windows down on a long road trip along a deserted highway. Try listening to it in a forest or under a starry sky out in the quiet away from everyone. Try doing something out of the ordinary just because you personally want to. The idea of a bloom is to grow, blossom, open, to be free and beautiful. This record makes me want to try for that all over again despite the fact that I know all blooms eventually die. All we have is the one magic moment when we live, all we have is the fantasy that eventually fades. But while it is here, it is worth everything.