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Beach House – Become Review

Riding a monumentally high wave after Once Twice Melody, the dream pop masters from Beach House storm on through with no time to spare. They have not the time for rest or relaxation, and considering the powerhouse double album they released just last year, new material may serve as a surprise. Here it is though, an EP worth clawing through the crowds of Record Store Day for. Five tracks stretched over a luxurious twenty-five minutes, recorded long before Once Twice Melody released. Twinkling and moving in equal measure, Become is a beast of an EP and holds itself to high accord. Slowly building, a real treat as the sun is obscured by rainclouds, wasps still battering against the window before the storm begins. Music is half placement, half sound, and the pair meet nicely on this piece. 

Take American Daughter for instance. An incredible track in its own right but this bubbling percussion, the slow rise and the vibrations running through the floor, soaked up through slipper-adorned feet, is delicate. Ground yourself with the movement of the floor and the impact a bass-heavy speaker system can enjoy. Building and building that way, it feels as though a burst of energy from vocalist Victoria Legrand is inevitable, but the sensation of the expectation is far stronger than the release. Become knows that and spends much of its time constructing something so unlikely to happen. No time to consider any notion of resounding, string-induced high though as Beach House move themselves along to Devil’s Pool. No trouble keeping up, but all the desires of foolish behaviour on that second trap, envelop an important and consistent moody tone. 

Setting the extraordinary scene with synth notes and soft-spoken yet assured vocals, Holiday Home displays a nice and brooding experience. Expansive and detailing the shimmering detail Beach House so often display in their works, the openness and collective experience of this track is a delight. Consistency is key and where Beach House has that in abundance, they display it coercively and convincingly on these first three tracks. Become’s B-Side, where the title track and an incredible, string-reliant Black Magic reside, is a real highlight. Black Magic is the standout. Its soft but well-maintained strings give it tremendous strength, a courageous effort that, like opener American Daughter, builds with no end in sight.  

Become is a useful EP as well as an incredible one. A near-half hour serving not just as an additional selection of formidable material from an exciting band but a palette cleanser, a mood changer. Uplifting in all the right ways and maintaining its steadiness with resounding effort, Become is a lovely selection. An incredibly pleasant listen through not only the mood it creates but the playing which demands consistency and vibrating, exceptional tunes. Five are more than enough, an entry point for those not sure where to start. For those returning, and especially those riding the wave after Once Twice Melody, Become offers more in the same range and expands it nicely. Softer, slower and calmer than the recent album, but an integral gear shift that sees the band invite listeners to coast along with them.  

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Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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