“We need music. I really think it’s one of the most versatile, powerful art forms, because it’s how people figure out why they’re existing, and helps people to believe in something.”
(Quote by Victoria Legrand – Stereogum Interview)
One night, not so long ago, began pretty much like every night before it. I put on some Beach House music. Except this particular night, I did something different. Normally I like to listen to one album at a time. I like to get the feel of each album as a whole. But this night, I listened to a mix of songs, old and new, uninterrupted, blending together into one solid moment of sound. It did something to me. It profoundly changed my perspective of what Beach House is all about.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard a mix of their songs before. I’ve seen dozens of their concerts online and had the immense fortune to see them play live in August of 2015. It was the first time they had chosen an Upstate, New York venue. I can still remember the feeling as I stood at the doorway listening to Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally during their soundcheck. It was surreal. I was seeing and hearing Victoria…live…singing “Levitation” right in front of me, with only a few yards of space between the physical two of us. I stood there feeling overwhelming emotion, in disbelief that my wait of almost a decade to see Beach House perform had suddenly vanished…it was happening.
So what was it, exactly, about that blending of old and new songs that changed my perspective of Beach House? The answer was much bigger than I imagined. It wasn’t just their music, but what was inside of it. Initially, I thought of their Setlist Creator and their Installation Shows for their most recent tour. They don’t just promote their recent records on their tours. They create an atmosphere, the same as I did that night not so long ago, blending songs from all of their albums. They turn every concert into a work of art, a personal creation for their fans. These two people, Victoria and Alex, are not just music artists, not just a favorite band. They are the epitome of gratitude, dedication, love, life and energy. They have spent their entire lives as professional musicians putting their souls into every single, solitary song…every recording, every performance, every interview, every meet and greet. Everything they do, they do for their fans. They are intensely private people who never stop giving…an odd combination that totally works for them. I recently had the incredible experience of interviewing Lauren Turek, former bassist/backing vocalist of Daggerhearts, which allowed me to discover a small part of Victoria before she was Beach House. I learned that she has always been a one-track mind…music. Alex has often described himself in the same way. Victoria and Alex were destined to make music together. They are made of it. It courses through their veins. It shines from their eyes. It flows from their fingers. Their appreciation of the world of music, both their own and of fellow artists, is an endless force that drives them to an infinite creativity. And, so it took hearing this blending of old and new Beach House songs for me to truly begin to understand my love of Beach House. They, as a band, exist for us. And, that thought never occurred to me until the moment that the music stopped playing. It was, in that split second of silence, that I suddenly felt such gratitude to Victoria and Alex…but then I instantly knew that they wouldn’t want that from me. What they would want…is for me to take the music they had just given me…and make it my own. That is a beautiful thing.
“Each song has its own story, each song has its own emotion. That’s what’s beautiful about songs or songwriting, and you get to make your own little universe, and then your album is a collection of universes that take a listener to some place, and each listener is a completely unique and different person from the next, and will have their own interpretation.”
(Quote by Victoria Legrand – City Pages Interview)
Watch Victoria describe in this Baeble Music interview (at the 3:11 mark) her feelings about creating, and then giving away, the music she so passionately writes:
Side Note: To learn the story behind the band Daggerhearts, read my article titled Recollections Of A Band: Daggerhearts.
Watch Victoria and Alex in this Wow Magazine interview talk about the energy and passion that goes into every song they create, the heartache of songs never coming to fruition, and about how music is the most integral part of who they are:
Beach House’s appreciation of the world of music has driven them to create a rich and immense history of music throughout their career as a band and has inspired fellow artists along the way. Albums, collaborations, covers, tributes…the list goes on and on. If you look hard enough, if you listen carefully enough, you will find Beach House hiding in the least expected places. I found myself compelled to put some of that history into one place…and so began this article. Within it, I’ve attempted to put together a comprehensive collection of some of the most prominent music and the history behind it…that is…and of…Beach House, including my interviews with Antoine Bédard of Montag and Adrien Chabal, photographer of La Blogothèque Soirée de poche #14. However, this is not meant to be a discography, but instead, it is an attempt to understand where Beach House’s music comes from…how it is born, and most importantly, how it changes everyone it touches. I hope this collection will bring you, at the very least, a few new discoveries of the band that we have come to love so much. When viewed separately, this collection doesn’t seem like much, but when viewed as a whole, one can walk away with a new perspective of what it takes to be an artist…in any capacity. Beach House has certainly proven that point. I have also added a non-discography link…just because it’s passionately worthy of a mention. So, without further ado (and be prepared to spend some quality Beach House time here)…a collection of Beach House and the inter-connectivity of artists who share their passion for music.
BEACH HOUSE ALBUMS:
Self Titled – Saltwater, Tokyo Witch, Apple Orchard, Master of None, Auburn and Ivory, Childhood, Lovelier Girl, House on the Hill, Heart and Lungs, (Hidden Track: Rain in Numbers)
Devotion – Wedding Bell, You Came to Me, Gila, Turtle Island, Holy Dances, All the Years, Heart of Chambers, Some Things Last a Long Time, Astronaut, D.A.R.L.I.N.G., Home Again
Teen Dream – Zebra, Silver Soul, Norway, Walk in the Park, Used to Be, Lover of Mine, Better Times, 10 Mile Stereo, Real Love, Take Care
Bloom – Myth, Wild, Lazuli, Other People, The Hours, Troublemaker, New Year, Wishes, On the Sea, Irene (Hidden Track: Wherever You Go)
Depression Cherry – Levitation, Sparks, Space Song, Beyond Love, 10:37, PPP, Wildflower, Bluebird, Days of Candy
Thank Your Lucky Stars – Majorette, She’s So Lovely, All Your Yeahs, One Thing, Common Girl, The Traveller, Elegy to the Void, Rough Song, Somewhere Tonight
Side Note: In a Pitchfork interview, the question that has been asked a thousand times is finally answered:
VL: “People go, “Who’s Irene?” It’s like, “Well, c’mon. It’s more crazy than that.”
AS: “Your mom. The answer is your mom.”
VL: “But isn’t it more interesting to feel many possibilities?”
Listen to Beach House’s Irene (with those OH so tremendous key presses) and its hidden track (be patient for it) Wherever You Go:
BEACH HOUSE SINGLES AND EP’S:
10 Mile Stereo
Heart of Chambers
I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Lover of Mine
Master of None
Used to Be
You Came to Me
Zebra EP – Zebra UK Radio Edit, The Arrangement, Baby, 10 Mile Stereo Cough Syrup Remix
Beach House’s track “Norway” was born out of a challenge by none other than Norway’s Lydverket, a Norwegian music magazine for television that aired from 2002 until 2012. On a train ride from Bergen to Oslo, Lydverket challenged Beach House to write a song, and write a song they did. In the interview, you can literally hear Victoria’s brain creating the lyrics as she discusses facts about Norway with the interviewer (along with a few sneezes). As Beach House and the Lydverket crew venture down the platform exiting the train station, the song is played acoustically for the first time.
Listen to Lydverket’s interview with Beach House:
Merged audio via NRK Lydverket.
Watch Beach House perform Norway:
If you have a few hours to kill, give these next two videos a watch to get a feel of what the train ride from Bergen to Oslo encompassed for Beach House. There is some immensely gorgeous footage to behold.
Watch Bergen to Oslo 1/2:
Watch Bergen to Oslo 2/2:
BEACH HOUSE ALBUM APPEARANCES:
¬ 77 – Gila
#89 – Norway
2007 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler – Apple Orchard
Bella Union 10th Year Anniversary – Apple Orchard
Best Albums of 2010 – 10 Mile Stereo
Best of 2010 – Better Times
Carpark Holiday Sampler – Auburn and Ivory
Digital Bang – The 2010 Sub Pop Sampler for Amazon – Zebra
Dream Pop – Norway
FUV Live 15 – Turtle Island
Harbour Boat Trips 01 – Copenhagen by Trentemøller – Gila
LateNightTales – Midlake – Silver Soul
La bande-son 2012 – Wild
La bande-son de l’été 2015 – Sparks (Radio Edit)
Live at KEXP – Volume Nine – Myth
Live at KEXP – Volume Six – Walk in the Park
Live at the World Cafe – 20th Anniversary Edition – Zebra
Lone Star Solid State – A 2010 ACL Mixtape – Norway
Loss Opportunity – The 2012 Sub Pop Records Sampler – Myth
LSTN #4 – Used to Be
LSTN #8 – Norway
LSTN Europe #5 – Norway
Momentos 2010 Canciones Internacionales Volume 1 [Issue 291] – Zebra
Monitor This! June/July 12 – Myth
Musik Express Mixtape 2012 – Myth
New to Q: 15 of the Most Exciting New Acts on the Planet – Norway
Now Hear This! – Wedding Bell
October 2010 Chrysalis Music Singles Sampler – 10 Mile Stereo
Paste Magazine New Music Sampler Issue 60 – Norway
Pitchfork X UO Playlist – Lazuli
RA.270 – Walk in the Park
Rough Trade Shops – Bella Union 15 – 15 Years of Bella Union Records – Lover of Mine
Sonically Speaking Volume 51 – Norway
St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service [Ep 7] – Take Care
Terminal Sales Volume 5 – Mixed Nuts – Myth
The Best Carpark Compilation in the World…Ever! – Master of None
The Space Project – Saturn Song
Un Printemps 2012 Volume 3 – Lazuli
Un Automne 2015 – Life is a Killer – Majorette
Western Skies – Norway
White Winter Hymnals – Master of None
The Space Project is quite literally an out of this world creation. Inspired by the electromagnetic radiation fluctuations of planets and moons in our solar system that were recorded by NASA’s Voyager 1 & 2 Space Probes, this Record Store Day Release compilation from Lefse Records features fourteen music artists who use these planetary sounds within their own music. The track “Saturn Song” by Beach House makes its heavenly appearance within this compilation.
Listen to Beach House’s Saturn Song:
Side Note: To purchase a copy of The Space Project (available digitally, on CD and vinyl) visit the Lefse Records official website.
Air – Le Voyage Dans la Lune – Seven Stars
Frenemies – Birds in High School – Waiting for the Ambulance
Future Islands – Post Office Wave Chapel – Little Dreamer (Jones Remix)
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest – Two Weeks
Grizzly Bear – The Twilight Saga: New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Slow Life
Jana Hunter – A Goblin, A Goblin (video)
Montag – Going Places – Plus Grand Que
At the Cannes Film Festival in France, a hand colored print of Georges Méliès 1902 silent film Le Voyage Dans la Lune (discovered in 1993) was premiered featuring a newly commissioned soundtrack by the band Air. The soundtrack to the film was extended into a full album featuring Victoria as well as Au Revoir Simone. Georges fourteen minute science fiction story was a first for silent films and was his own version of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and H.G. Wells First Men in the Moon. The film was a satire of the scientific community of the time and Georges not only wrote the script but also directed, produced and photographed the film as well performed in the lead role, designed the sets and created the costumes. The image of the lunar capsule landing in the eye of the moon is widely recognized in film history.
Air’s Nicolas Godin describes the soundtrack for the film as being “nourished by living art” and provided a perfect description in an NME interview of how artists can influence one another:
“Projects like this refresh our brain. Making your own albums all the time is too narrow-minded. At some point you write the same song. So you need new blood all the time. We are like vampires.”
Listen to Air’s Seven Stars:
Frenemies is the solo project of Chris Freeland, former drummer for the band Oxes. Frenemies defined itself as “a strange brew of hip-hop, punk and post-pop” in an article by Binghamton University’s bi-weekly newspaper Pipe Dream. In 2003 Chris produced his first album Friendship, followed by his second album in 2006 Birds in High School which featured Victoria as backing vocals on the album’s 7th track “Waiting for the Ambulance”.
Listen to Frenemies Waiting for the Ambulance:
The track “Two Weeks”, although being an upbeat song, is actually about the breakup of a relationship. The song was released as a single on June 1, 2009 before being released on Grizzly Bear’s third album Veckatimest. Much like Beach House, Grizzly Bear tends to pull places or things that grab hold of them into their music, and in this case, the title of the album was actually named after an uninhabited island in Gosnold, Massachusetts. In a Pitchfork interview Ed Droste, singer, songwriter and original member of Brooklyn-based Grizzly Bear, explains more about the island, and how Victoria was chosen for backing vocals on the track.
“We were doing some recording in Cape Cod, and we were looking at some typography. We were invited to that area once, and we thought it was really beautiful. And we liked the name. We didn’t camp there or anything, but we spent a lot of time there because of my grandmother’s house there. So we had a chance to really explore the region, and it was an area that we thought was really pretty because it was so natural and untouched.”
“…during the chorus there’s this vocal line that’s distant and a little odd. I remember Dan [Rossen, guitarist] being like, “This is such a Victoria part; we should totally get Victoria to come in and sing this.” It just made sense. She came up and did the part for us.”
Listen to Grizzly Bear’s Two Weeks:
Victoria’s collaboration with Grizzly Bear for the track “Slow Life” was much less complicated than a collaboration ought to be…but Victoria seems to have a way of making things easier than they should be. The end result was a song that took a lot of people by surprise, and even introduced a whole new generation to the music of Beach House with its relation to the Twilight series. In a Music OMH interview, Victoria describes, quite literally, the effortless process of being asked to collaborate on the song:
“A quick phone call, I took a taxi over, and in an hour and a half it was done. I’m not trying to destroy any magic, but I didn’t write any of it with them. But it was fun.”
Listen to Grizzly Bear’s Slow Life:
Jana Hunter is singer and primary songwriter for the band Lower Dens based in Baltimore. Jana was asked during an interview by Vulture if she had heard of comparisons being made between her voice and Victoria’s voice. This was her response:
“I have. I’ve been listening to their music since they first started making music and loving it since then; we’ve played a few shows with them, too. I’m in love with her voice, but it’s hard for me to see the comparisons because I just think her voice is just so much better than mine and will continue to do so much more than mine. So I find the comparisons flattering, but they must be coming from people who aren’t too familiar with either of our voices. [Laughs.]”
Watch Jana Hunter feat. Victoria Legrand perform A Goblin, A Goblin:
On his 3rd album, Going Places, Montag’s French-Canadian producer Antoine Bédard created an exquisite collection of collaborative tracks which feature himself along with Au Revoir Simone, Matthew Barber, Shaun Brodie, Anthony Gonzales, Leah Abramson, Victoria Legrand, Amy Millan, Ida Nilsen, Owen Pallett and Ghislain Poirier. Victoria’s hushed backing vocals dance through the lyrics of the track “Plus Grand Que”.
I had the extraordinary pleasure of interviewing Antoine, who graciously took time out of his travelling schedule to answer a few questions for me. I have to say, his answer to my last question left me breathless. It is a frame worthy response.
JK: From what I have researched, you had received a grant from the Quebec Arts Council to record and catalogue orchestra instruments into a database which you use along with your own keyboard for your recordings and live performances. Is this correct?
AB: “Yes, it is. Those recordings were used on an album called Alone, Not Alone that was released on Carpark Records in 2005. It was Montag’s first release in North America, as all the previous releases were on other European labels such as Gooom and Ai Records. And, it is through Carpark Records that I met with Beach House. We played a show in 2006 at Pop Montreal. It was their first show outside of Baltimore. We became friends right away.”
JK: The track “Plus Grand Que”, which appears on your album Going Places, features a collaboration with Victoria Legrand. It is an incredibly mesmerizing song from start to finish. I have found myself listening to it on repeat! What led you to choose Victoria to do backing vocals on this track?
AB: “I wrote the song not knowing who would collaborate on it. I wrote the song in French and instinctively I thought about asking Victoria to sing on it because she speaks French quite well (her father is French and she is the niece of famous composer Michel Legrand). I thought it would be great also to hear her sing in French. Unfortunately, the tracks she recorded on her side were quite lo-fi sounding as it was a home recording – this was before the band had access to bigger studios. That explains why her voice is quite low in the mix. But it does add to the mood of the track. I was so grateful she had accepted to do this with me.”
JK: Your album Going Places is a huge collaborative effort! What prompted you to want to collaborate with so many different artists on this album?
AB: “I have always fantasized about being in a band. Making music alone can be tough sometimes so it felt really satisfying from really early on to collaborate. Working on Alone, Not Alone was a first step in that direction as I worked with seventeen different classical music musicians. But with Going Places I gave myself the objective of having one collaborator for each track. It felt natural to ask Alex and Victoria to collaborate in one way or the other, and Victoria accepted to sing on a song.”
JK: Can you give your listeners a description of what the track “Plus Grand Que” is about…especially for those of us who do not speak French?
AB: “The song was written at a time when I was madly in love. “Plus Grand Que” means “bigger than” in reference to the mathematical sign “greater than”. It was a way for me to describe how strong love can feel sometimes, how it gives you the impression to be invisible. The chorus is very simple: “We are bigger than nature, our love is bigger than us, our love is bigger.” The rest of the words are quite poetic and a little bit more obscure. I wanted to create a luminous song, and in the end it was all quite mysterious sounding but in a soothing way, especially when Victoria’s voice was added to it at the very end.”
JK: Are you a fan of Victoria’s band Beach House, and if so, have you had the opportunity to see them perform live at any of their venues?
AB: “I have seen Beach House many, many times. The band would stay at my place when I lived in Vancouver (before 2008). And they toured very intensely so I got to see them often. It’s very weird because their music never touched me more than after I had a very hard breakup. It was their music that felt like the antidote to what was happening in my life. We always had a great friendship but since then I feel like their music had a much bigger presence in my life, which also, in a way, contributed to feeling closer to them than ever.”
JK: Do you plan on doing any further collaborations with Victoria in the future?
AB: “I am not sure if it will happen again. Victoria is very busy, but I would ask her if it felt right. I thought about asking Alex to play guitar on one of my songs before, but who knows if it will ever happen. First I have to get back to recording my own music again, which I haven’t done in years now.”
JK: If you could describe Victoria in one word, what would that word be?
AB: “Witch. I always thought of her as a great music sorcerer, a good and haunting witch.”
Listen to Montag’s Plus Grand Que:
Thalia Zedek – Plum – Bus Stop (feat. Arbouretum)
The Grateful Dead – Shakedown Street – Fire on the Mountain (video feat. Department of Eagles)
Thrill Jockey Records located in New York, New York, began in 1992. Inspired by the Devil’s Jukebox 7″ box set released in 1989 by Blast First, Thrill Jockey Records released a limited edition box set titled Plum to celebrate their 15 year anniversary. The box set contains ten 7″ singles, each with their own picture sleeves, which contain Thrill Jockey Records bands covering their favorite Thrill Jockey Records songs. Victoria joins Arbouretum for their cover of Thalia Zedek’s track titled “Bus Stop”.
Side Note: To purchase a copy of the Plum box set (available digitally and on vinyl) visit Thrill Jockey Records official website.
VICTORIA’S MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTIONS:
Rookie Magazine – Just Wondering
Victoria was asked to contribute to a recurring feature of Rookie Magazine called Just Wondering in which adults give advice to teenage girls. This is a must read! Visit Rookie Magazine to read the full Q & A.
Serge Gainsbourg Tribute
Held at the Hollywood Bowl on August 28, 2011, the Serge Gainsbourg Tribute was formed by a diverse group of artists which included Beck, Zola Jesus, Victoria Legrand, Mike Patton of Faith No More, Ed Droste, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl of The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (aka GHOSTT), Lulu Gainsbourg, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who sang and spoke a nearly all French tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, a French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor, and director. The tribute consisted of three setlists as follows:
Setlist One: L’eau a la Bouche (Gainsbourg), Couleur Café (Gainsbourg), La Noyee (Gainsbourg), Requiem pour un Con (Patton), Chanson de Prévert (Patton), Danger (instrumental), Le Horse (instrumental), Harley Davidson (Jesus), Le Poinçonneur des Lilas (Jesus), La Décadanse (Patton and Legrand), Initials B.B. (Legrand), Le Chanson de Slogan (Droste and Legrand), I Came Here To Stay (Droste)
Setlist Two: Cannibas (instrumental), Comic Strip (Lennon and Kemp Muhl), L’Homme a Tete de Chou (Lennon), Bonnie and Clyde (Lennon and Kemp Muhl), Ford Mustang (Patton and Kemp Muhl), Cha Cha Cha de Loup (Patton), Sea, Sex and Sun (Legrand and Kemp Muhl), Nefertiti (Beck), Teenie Weenie Boppie (Beck), Les Sucrettes (Beck)
Setlist Three: Le Historie de Melody Nelson, conducted by Jean-Claude Vannier: Melody (Godron-Levitt and Legrand), Ballade de Melody Nelson (Lennon and Kemp Muhl), Ah! Melody (Beck), L’Hotel Particular (Patton), En Melody (Jesus), Cargo Culte (Gordon-Levitt)
Watch Victoria perform Serge Gainsbourg’s Sea, Sex and Sun:
Teen Dream – Silver Soul
As a companion to the CD version of their album Teen Dream, Beach House included a DVD featuring a variety of directors including Sean Pecknold (brother of Robin Pecknold), Kevin Drew (of Kevin Drew & Co.) and Victoria, herself, for the video Silver Soul which features the cinematography of Victoria’s brother Alistair Legrand, who directed Beach House’s video Heart of Chambers. Silver Soul was filmed at Dreamland Recording Studios, a converted building which was once St. John’s Church built in 1896, and is also the studio where Beach House recorded their album Teen Dream.
Watch Victoria’s Production of Silver Soul:
Papercuts – Life Among the Savages – Life Among the Savages
Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want – A Dictator’s Lament, The Machine Will Tell Us So, Future Primitive, Jet Plane, The Wolf
Sandcats – Useyeless – The Punchline
The indie pop band Papercuts has more often than not toured with Beach House on a somewhat regular basis, as well as with other well known bands such as Grizzly Bear, Camera Obscura and Vetiver. Jason Robert Quever, songwriter and producer of Papercuts, has remained the band’s only permanent member although drummer Graham Hill and bassist Frankie Koeller have been regular members since 2008. Artist and filmmaker David Enos has remained a longstanding collaborator on keyboard. In 2009, the band produced You Can Have What You Want which features Alex as a collaborator on pretty much the entire album. To be specific, the liner credits are as follows: Percussion on “A Dictator’s Lament”, help with string arrangements on “The Machine Will Tell Us So” and “Future Primitive”, bass on “Jet Plane”, keys and backing vocals on “The Wolf” and general recording/arranging assistance. In 2014 Papercuts released Life Among the Savages which features Alex on arrangements on the album’s namesake track.
Side Note: The liner credits for You Can Have What You Want include a special thank you to Victoria. After seeing a random YouTube video of Victoria doing backing vocals and Alex playing keyboard along with Jason Robert Quever as lead vocals for the track “Jet Plane”, I was curious to know if Victoria did any backing vocals/instruments on the album itself, so I asked Jason to clarify the liner credits. Per Jason, Victoria does not appear on the album in any capacity.
The Sandcats, an electronic funk/soul band, were husband/wife duo Riyan Kidwell (also of the band Cex) and Roby Newton (also of the bands Cex and Milemarker). They produced two albums titled Some Kind of Mantra in 2006 and Useyeless in 2007 under the label Must Finish along with a collaborative 7″ split with the band Car Clutch in 2008 with Wildfire Records which featured the tracks “Ringu, I’m on the Edge of my Seat” and “Bikewrider”. Alex is featured on Useyeless on the track “The Punchline”.
BEACH HOUSE TRIBUTES:
Gene Clark No Other Tour
The Gene Clark No Other Tour was the brainchild of none other than Victoria and Alex who came up with the idea for the tour out of their love of Gene Clark’s 1974 album titled No Other. They sought after and organized a collective group of fellow artists to join the tour which included themselves along with Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen, the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser, Iain Matthews of Plainsong/Fairport Convention and featured Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, plus members of Lower Dens, Cass McCombs’ band, Celebration, and Mt. Royal. The instruments used included a mix of electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, piano and drums. The tour extended to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC and New York City. Gene Clark was a founding member of the folk rock band the Byrds. He passed away in 1991.
Watch Victoria perform Gene Clark’s Hear the Wind:
BEACH HOUSE COVERS:
Gucci Mane – The State vs. Radric Davis – Lemonade (video)
Daniel Johnston – 1990 – Some Things Last a Long Time
Michael Jackson – Thriller – Billie Jean (video feat. Celebration)
Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want – Jet Plane (video feat. Papercuts)
Queen – Dark Was the Night – Play the Game
The Korgis – Dumb Waiter – (Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime) I Need Your Loving (Pitchfork Music Festival Video Stream)
Tony, Caro and John – All on the First Day – The Snowdon Song [retitled to Lovelier Girl]
Weezer – Self Titled – Undone – The Sweater Song (video)
Side Note: You can download the Pitchfork Music Festival Video Stream files (special thanks to Reddit user dspaceman88) at the following links:
In the year 1990, Daniel Johnston released an album of the same name titled 1990. The album’s fifth track, “Some Things Last a Long Time”, is a story about unrequited love. The track was written by both Daniel and his friend Jad Fair, a founding member of Half Japanese, and remains to this day a lo-fi classic. Born in 1961, Daniel is a talented and unique individual, both musically and artistically. In fact, some of his art appears on his releases. While attending an art program at Kent State, Daniel, began writing and recording in the cellar of his family home. Two very important songs were born during that time, titled “Songs of Pain” and “More Songs of Pain”, which grew from his unrequited love for a woman named Laurie who ended up marrying an undertaker. And thus, Daniel’s magic began and eventually reached into his song “Some Things Last a Long Time”. Beach House cradled his magic…beautifully born from a lifelong struggle with manic depression, and equally captured the longing and heartbreak in their cover of this song on their second album Devotion. I urge you to pour over Daniel’s website, Hi, How Are You, to learn more about his life and his music.
Listen to Daniel Johnston’s Some Things Last a Long Time:
Dark Was The Night, originally titled New Blood, is a two-hour mega charity compilation album by the Red Hot Organization with proceeds to benefit individuals and families battling HIV and AIDS. It was the organization’s 20th compilation release which featured the following artists: Dirty Projectors, David Byrne, José González, Feist, Ben Gibbard, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, The National, Yeasayer, My Brightest Diamond, Kronos Quartet, Antony, Bryce Dessner, Justin Vernon, Aaron Dessner, The Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Beirut, My Morning Jacket, Sharon Jones, The Dap-Kings, David Sitek, Serengeti, The New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo, Stuart Murdoch, Riceboy Sleeps, Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues, Andrew Bird, Conor Oberst, Gillian Welch, Blonde Redhead, Devastations and Kevin Drew. Notwithstanding the depressing fact that Beach House’s cover of Queen’s “Play The Game” was inexplicably left off the physical release of the album but later re-added as an iTunes only bonus track, the album raised over 1.6 million dollars and reached #3 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums of 2009.
Watch the Dark Was The Night Live Documentary by Red Hot Organization:
Beach House performed the most moving rendition you will ever hear of The Korgis song “(Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime) I Need Your Loving” from their album Dumb Waiter at the Pitchfork Music Festival held in Union Park, Chicago on July 15, 2016. The concert was an impeccable performance both vocally and musically as well as artistically. The setlist is as follows:
Levitation, Wild, PPP, Silver Soul, Space Song, 10 Mile Stereo, Rough Song, Master of None, Wishes, (Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime) I Need Your Loving (Korgis cover), Take Care, Myth, Sparks, Elegy to the Void and Days of Candy.
Listen to Beach House’s cover of The Korgis (Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime) I Need Your Loving:
The track “Lovelier Girl”, which appears on Beach House’s first and self-titled album Beach House, is a masterfully done cover of “The Snowdon Song” by the British folk/rock group Tony [Doré], Caro and John which appears on their 1972 album All on the First Day. The song is jointly attributed to both Beach House and Tony Doré. Tony, Caro and John recorded All on the First Day in their London Flat using a Ferrograph tape recorder played over a pre-recorded backing track which encompassed unique instrumentation such as mandolin, flageolet, bass-wah and low-key fuzz. They pressed 100 vinyl copies through Eden Studios in 1972 which provided sold out shows for the band. The album was re-issued in 2010 by Garrden Records.
Listen to Beach House’s cover of Tony, Caro and John’s The Snowdon Song [retitled Lovelier Girl]:
BEACH HOUSE MUSIC SCORES:
This Must Be the Only Fantasy (A Rodarte Film directed by Todd Cole)
Launched in 2009 with Intel as its founding partner, The Creators Project features the works of artists who are using technology as an expansion of creative expression. For their third film collaboration, Rodarte and Todd Cole created this short film masterpiece which tells a tale about a girl who is on a mystical and heroic quest on the streets of Los Angeles.
Watch Rodarte and Todd Cole’s short film This Must Be the Only Fantasy:
BEACH HOUSE FILM SHORTS:
Beach House – Forever Still
Beach House’s film short Forever Still features four songs from their album Bloom…”Wild”, “The Hours”, “Wishes” and “Irene”. In a quote from Sub Pop Records, Beach House describes the process of making this captivating film short in their own words:
“Before releasing Bloom, we decided that we would only participate in “promotional” activities that we could control artistically and give substantial energy. We had previously been involved in too many live sessions, radio tapings, photo shoots, etc., where the outcome was far below our personal artistic standards. We also felt a need to distance ourselves from the “content” culture of the internet that rewards quantity over quality and shock over nuance.
The concept for Forever Still was about a year old when Pitchfork came to us about supporting a project that we really cared about.
Forever Still is directly inspired by Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii. We wanted to perform in a non-typical setting without losing the spirit of our music. We felt the songs would resonate in a more majestic and spiritual landscape. The experience was an intense three nights of filming. Everyone involved in production and crew was benevolent in their time and talented in their efforts. We were very lucky to have the help and hard work of many people who aided and lent their abilities to our vision.
The basic concept is four songs performed from sunset to sunrise.
We tried to keep the edits minimal with long takes in order to focus on the energy of the songs, the landscape, and the physicality of live performance. The entire film was shot in or around Tornillo, Texas, where we recorded Bloom. Like Bloom, we hope that Forever Still is experienced as a whole, long form.”
Watch Beach House’s film short Forever Still:
SAMPLES OF BEACH HOUSE SONGS BY OTHER ARTISTS:
G-Side – The ONE COHESIVE – How Far – 10 Mile Stereo
Joywave – 77777 – Space Walk – Beach House/Walk in the Park and One Republic Say (All I Need)
Kendrick Lamar (feat. Jay Rock and Anna Wise) – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City – Money Trees – Silver Soul
The Weeknd – House of Balloons – Loft Music – Gila
The Weeknd – House of Balloons – The Party and the After Party – Master of None
After the release of G-Side’s album The ONE COHESIVE, people started noticing a familiarity in one of its tracks titled “How Far”. In a Washington Post review, the source for the track was finally revealed, and The City Paper interviewed Cory Parham from G-Side’s in-house production team The Block Beattaz to get the scoop. Here’s what he had to say about the Beach House’s “10 Mile Stereo”:
“It was one of those moments in your life that something completely grabs you and hits you in that emotional place. That song that says what you feel better than you can articulate it. Then, when I finally made it to the lyric, “They say we’ll go far, but they don’t know how far we’ll go”, chills went through my body. It explained that dynamic of knowing you’re great but God, fate, or life may think differently. We aren’t in control. The song is big. The drums were made for the stage. It had an atmosphere around it. I wanted to make sure we captured that in the production.”
Listen to G-Side’s sample of Beach House’s 10 Mile Stereo:
Joywave, a Rochester, New York indie rock band, consists of Daniel Armbruster, Joseph Morinelli, Sean Donnelly, Benjamin Bailey, and Paul Brenner. They have deservedly climbed the ladder of success making appearances on late night shows such as Late Night With Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Live, and have achieved a viewing audience of well over a million fans on YouTube. Joywave released the mixtape 77777 via their label Joywave Industries in 2011 which contained the band’s sample of Beach House’s track “Walk in the Park” from their Teen Dream album.
Listen to Joywave’s sample of Beach House’s Walk in the Park and One Republic’s Say (All I Need):
Kendrick Lamar’s track “Money Trees” from his album titled Good Kid, M.A.A.D City features an appearance by Jay Rock and backing vocals by Anna Wise. The track also samples Beach House’s “Silver Soul” from their Teen Dream album. Producer DJ Dahi, in a Behind The Beat video interview, said he used reverse sound from “Silver Soul”, adding drum beats, bass and cow bells to the mix. “Money Trees” ended up an instant hit landing itself as #19 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart following the album’s release and received critical acclaim from music critics. That acclaim stemmed in part from the crossing of indie/pop and hip hop/rap genres that allowed listeners to experience a genre they may not have been inclined to experience otherwise. XXL deemed the album “one of the most cohesive bodies of work in recent rap memory”.
Watch DJ Dahi discuss how he created the beat to Money Trees:
The Weeknd rose to indie music fame with its album titled House Of Balloons, a solid electronic and urban mix of contemporary and alternative R&B, soul, trip hop, indie rock and dream pop. The track “Loft Music” distorts guitar and vocals from Beach House’s “Gila”, adding a drum track and vocals, while Beach House’s “Master of None” adds a touch of sensuality to what is characteristically some dark subject matter on the track “The Party and the After Party.”
COVERS OF BEACH HOUSE SONGS BY OTHER ARTISTS:
The Casket Lottery – Myth
Daniela Andrade – Take Care
Lauren O’Connell (feat. Will Sturgeon) – Other People
Little Girls – 10 Mile Stereo
The Lowlifes – Used to Be
Savage Sister – Silver Soul
Toro Y Moi – Master of None
The Casket Lottery is an indie rock band from Kansas City, Missouri consisting of band members Nathan Ellis (originally from the band Coalesce), Stacy Hilt, Nathan Richardson, Brent Windler and Nick Siegel. In 2012 under the label No Sleep Records, The Casket Lottery produced their 7″ split with the band Touché Amoré which features one original song and one cover from each group. The Casket Lottery chose Beach House’s track “Myth” from their Bloom album for their cover.
Listen to The Casket Lottery’s cover of Beach House’s Myth:
Daniela Andrade is reaching new heights with her infamous covers and original songs which can be found on YouTube, SoundCloud and many other online music venues. Based out of Toronto and Montreal, Canada, Daniela creates a world of music that gently carries the hearts of those who listen to a place of comfort and acceptance. To date, she has built a massive fan base with over 300 million streams and plays. Her newest venture due out in the Summer of 2016 is something rarely done by artists anymore…a visual EP called Shore which consists of four tracks about falling out of love despite the struggle to remain in love. Much like Beach House’s short film Forever Still, Daniela’s film short will include four music videos filmed on location over the course of six weeks in Morocco, Cuba and Canada.
Watch this preview of Daniela Andrade’s visual EP:
Listen to Daniela Andrade’s cover of Beach House’s Take Care:
Just when you thought Beach House’s track “Other People” from their album Bloom could not possibly sound any more upbeat, Lauren O’Connell proves it can be done on her cover of their track which features Will Sturgeon. Lauren is a folk/alternative country singer from Rochester, New York. She has produced four albums to date: Sitting in Chairs, The Shakes, Covers and Quitters. Her album Covers features eleven tracks covering various bands and was recorded in her home studio between 2011 and 2012.
Side Note: To purchase Lauren’s album Covers, visit her Website Lauren ‘Connell.
Listen to Lauren O’Connell’s cover (feat. Will Sturgeon) of Beach House’s Other People:
The Lowlifes, or Matt Pond PA, originally began in Philadelphia and transitioned to a New York based band. Their songs are rich in beauty of the things we often overlook in life, much like the songs of Beach House. The band consists of Matt Pond and producer Chris Hanson who have produced numerous albums, EP’s, demos and more over the last two decades. Quoted in a Stereogum interview, here’s what Matt had to say about his cover of Beach House’s track “Used to Be” from their Teen Dream album:
“For me, this is the first song that made Beach House the kind of band that breaks all the light bulbs. This is the one song I’ll never stop singing in the shower, humming as I collect my mail. And though we’re a million miles away from achieving the stunning sound and vision they create, this may be the most fun anyone’s ever had with their own epitaph. Yes.”
Listen to The Lowlife’s cover of Beach House’s Used to Be:
One of the most unique Beach House covers comes from Savage Sister, a Chicago based dream pop/shoegaze band featuring Chloe Lundgren, Caitlin Klask and Michael Tenzer. The band records with a mix of synth and reverb which is heavy on their cover of Beach House’s track “Silver Soul” from their album Teen Dream, making the song almost unrecognizable as a Beach House song…but in really cool way.
Listen to Savage Sister’s cover of Beach House’s Silver Soul:
BEACH HOUSE REMIXES:
Beach House – 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
REMIXES BY OTHER ARTISTS:
Graham Hill – Lover of Mine (Roman Ruins Remix)
Mikey Maramag – Remixes – I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun (Blackbird Blackbird Remix)
Graham Hill has been a touring drummer to both Beach House and Papercuts, although, Roman Ruins is his solo project. He created his remix of Beach House’s track “Lover of Mine” from their album titled Teen Dream as a promotion to the release of his 7″ titled PASTOR/AL. Graham’s remix poetically explores the mystical link between song and architecture relevant to his career as an architect in New Orleans.
Listen to Lover of Mine (Roman Ruins Remix):
Blackbird Blackbird (Mikey Maramag) is a San Francisco based electronic synth pop musician with a variety of music compositions under his belt. After touring the U.S. and Europe following several earlier releases, he was signed with the prominent San Francisco label Om Records where he released Tangerine Sky (2014) and Strawberry Light (2015). Blackbird Blackbird’s remix of Beach House’s single “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun” can be found on his EP titled Remixes (2010) which you can purchase via Bandcamp (whose biography also best describes this unique music artist):
“His unique style of dreamy folktronica recalls inﬂuences from all ends of the musical spectrum. Within elongated song structures, Blackbird Blackbird harnesses thematic elements of dynamism and composition to create depth and complexity, while never losing sight of his pop sensibilities.”
Listen to I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun (Blackbird Blackbird Remix):
BEACH HOUSE SESSIONS:
Black Cab Sessions – Heart of Chambers
Daytrotter – Walk in the Park, Zebra, Take Care, Used to Be
iTunes – Walk in the Park, White Moon, Norway, Silver Soul, Gila, Real Love
Juan’s Basement – Gila, Holy Dances, Apple Orchard
KCRW – Myth, Other People, Turtle Island, Wishes, Take Care, Irene, Equal Mind
KEXP – Teen Dream – Zebra, Walk in the Park, Real Love, 10 Mile Stereo
KEXP – Bloom – Devotion – Other People, Myth, Turtle Island
La Blogothèque Soirée de poche #14 – Used to Be, Walk in the Park, Norway, Zebra, Silver Soul
Pitchfork Special Presentation – Zebra, Norway, Walk in the Park, Take Care
Side Note: Check out this KEXP photo shoot on Flickr!!
In a unique one-song performance, Beach House performed “Heart of Chambers” in the back of a British black cab while driving the streets of London. The motto of Black Cab Sessions is “one song, one take” and the idea for the sessions began with Jono Stevens and was produced as a partnership between Hidden Fruit and Just So Film.
Watch Beach House perform Heart of Chambers:
Juan’s Basement is a documentary/reality web show that includes music performances and interviews with a variety of professional musicians and is hosted by Juan Pieczanski, who lives in his parents basement which also doubles as the venue for the live performances.
Watch Beach House perform their Juan’s Basement Session:
In a tiny, cramped apartment in Le Marais, a historic district in Paris, France, it took the team of La Blogothèque nearly three hours to set up the equipment for Beach House’s intimate performance. During breaks, Victoria eloquently spoke both English and French to her fans, even taking a moment to ask if everyone was cool enough due to the heat of so many bodies crowded into such a small space. At the end of the set, Victoria and Alex were told they had a few minutes left and were asked if they wanted to play an unscheduled song. Alex played a brief riff and Victoria was up for the challenge. That unscheduled song was “Silver Soul”…and the reason it was a challenge is because it would have to be played semi-acoustically. That “why not” moment created a version of “Silver Soul” never imagined. And as an extra bonus, there is one sentence spoken in the session by Victoria which makes you go weak at the knees…“This is a song about love.”
I had the incredible opportunity to interview Adrien Chabal who is a Professional photographer in France. Adrien did the photo shoot for this La Blogothèque session.
JK: La Blogothèque Soirée de poche #14 featured Beach House performing five tracks from their Teen Dream album which included “Used To Be”, “Walk In The Park”, “Norway”, “Zebra” and the unplanned performance of “Silver Soul”. The performance was held in an apartment in Le Marais, a historic district in Paris, France, is this correct?
AC: “Yes, Le Marais is situated in the center of Paris between Bastille, Republique, and Hôtel de Ville.”
JK: How was this apartment chosen for the performance, and does La Blogothèque often select such intimate locations for their featured artists?
AC: “This is La Blogothèque’s Trademark to find the perfect place, to create the appropriate atmosphere that fits the music. This particular flat was not the “mansion” type, but it had a great location and the coziness of it made it all.”
JK: Can you describe your experience of listening to such an incredible performance from Beach House while at the same time doing your photo shoot?
AC: “Usually taking pictures of a live band turns me rather schizophrenic. I need to focus on what I’m doing more than on what I’m listening to. On that particular night, such blissful music in that cozy living room gave us a magic feeling as we were joining such an intimate rehearsal of the band. I was kind of stunned and took no more than a dozen snapshots.”
JK: Were you familiar with Beach House before this photo shoot, and if so, have you had the opportunity to see them play live at any of their Paris venues?
AC: “I had the chance to see and shoot the band in Paris maybe three or four times. I also remember vividly one of their shows at La Maroquinerie that same year or so which also blew my mind. Their shows have great atmosphere even if they like to play in very dark rooms which makes it harder for photographers.”
JK: How were you chosen to do the photo shoot for this performance?
AC: “I got lucky enough to access this Soirée de poche by asking Chryde (founder of La Blogothèque) if I could take pictures aside from his production team.”
JK: For many Beach House fans, the video that was created of this performance is incredibly captivating. The fans in the audience were remarkably relaxed and immersed in the music which seemed to fill every corner of the tiny apartment. Have you had the opportunity to see the video of this performance?
AC: “Of course! I love the video! The sound is so delicate considering the tough conditions of this almost unplugged concert, and very small space for the usual recording gear.”
“I remember the band was a bit tense at the beginning of the gig (they started over one or two songs), but then Alex (who was cheerful and spoke with every single fan), managed to cool the room up, while Victoria seemed both divine and fragile.”
JK: Tell me a little bit about your work as a photographer. Do you work primarily photographing musicians? And, do you work strictly in France or do you travel outside of France for any of your assignments?
AC: “I’m more in scenery photography but at the time of this Soirée de poche I used to cover lots of indie bands playing gigs and festivals in France.”
Watch Beach House perform their La Blogothèque Soirée de poche #14 session:
For the release of Beach House’s Teen Dream album, they did a week-long presentation with Pitchfork on a fur-lined set from their practice space in Baltimore, Maryland. The presentation consisted of four tracks from the album…”Zebra”, “Norway”, “Walk in the Park” and “Take Care”, and is chock full of Beach House goodness including Victoria’s famous hair flips and even a stone-faced karate kick.
Watch Beach House perform their Pitchfork Special Presentation:
Beach House is so much more than a band. Beach House, simply put, is a feeling. They create from the places and the things in between… to recognize, to acknowledge, to give purpose…and to preserve. So, what does Beach House mean to me as a fan for more than a decade? Quite literally, everything. There are unforgettable moments in every person’s life. If I think back, I realize that I have attached a Beach House song to dozens of unforgettable moments of my life, one in particular standing above the rest…one of the hardest, saddest, most excruciatingly painful days of my life. “Days of Candy” helps me to deal with the sudden and unexpected death of my best friend, my Gabriel. I listen to “Days of Candy” with its haunting 24-part choir comprised of eight singers from Pearl River Community College, and I can hear the words:
Just like that, it’s gone.
Just like that it’s gone.
Just like that.
I know it comes too soon. The universe is riding off with you.
Hi O out there I know.
A little bit of you I keep it close to me.
I know it comes too soon.
The universe is riding off with you.
I know it comes too soon.
I know it stays for nobody.
I want to know you there.
The universe is riding off with you.
(Lyrics by Beach House – Depression Cherry – Days of Candy)
Within these words, I have made this song my own. I have made it my memory of the love I held for my Gabriel. I have made it my remembrance.
“Eventually, grief passes, loss fades, time heals all. But you lose something, even when you heal.”
(Quote by Victoria Legrand – Stereogum Interview)
Listen to Beach House’s Days of Candy:
I asked my friend Terry if he also had a Beach House song that he has made his own. In his own words, he describes a heartwarming tale of a father and son brought together by the music of Beach House:
“My father passed away in January, 2015. My dad was very specific about the music he listened to. When he was a kid, he wasn’t even allowed to listen to The Beatles for some time after John Lennon said they were bigger than Jesus, and as such, he had a really restricted scope on the music he listened to (though he did love The Beatles). But, Beach House was the one band that I could share with him when I came home from college that he wouldn’t tell me to turn off. He was too proud to ever admit he liked them, but we sure as hell did listen to them. After he passed, Beach House was still there to comfort me. I’d listen to the refrain at the end of “Take Care” and imagine them singing it to me. You can FEEL the love and emotion that went into that recording, the same kind of love my dad had for me. Repeating until it ends.”
Listen to Beach House’s Take Care:
For my friend Shane, Beach House’s “Elegy to the Void” is a favorite. He eloquently describes his thoughts on this track:
“Elegy to the Void” stands out as one of their most intense and gripping songs. I appreciate it both lyrically and musically, for showing Victoria’s imagistic style to its best effect, with a great arrangement that develops ominously throughout the song (even during the fade), as well as bringing in the night motif that reappears in the last two songs of the album Thank Your Lucky Stars.
It also means a lot to me because it represents the development of Beach House’s sound itself. Many bands in their position would be content to coast or continue mining the successful sound they’ve developed, but the arrangement shows that they’re more willing to take risks. Although One Thing also features Victoria on guitar, I feel that the precise arrangement of “Elegy to the Void” is something else, it isn’t simply a lead/rhythm guitar divide but is something more.
And of course, seeing it live at the Sydney Opera House was something else. I thought it was going to be a monster song live, and that expectation was truly rewarded. The combination of the extended arrangement, the light show and the sound itself was a face-melting experience. Of all the concerts I’ve attended over the years, it was the most intense song I’ve seen, and an experience that will live long in the memory, as will the song itself.”
Listen to Beach House’s Elegy to the Void:
Special thank you’s go out to Antoine Bédard and Adrien Chabal for their time and extraordinary generosity in contributing interview segments for this article, and to my friend Terry for his immense help in discoveries for the discography (which included some pretty hilarious late night conversations), as well as to both Terry and my friend Shane for providing their story segments. I invite you, the reader, to post your comments on your favorite Beach House song(s). As well, because this article contains several outside links, if you happen upon a broken link, please let me know and I will do my best to find an alternate outside link.
Images Except Where Noted Copyright © Janice Keegan -2016 – All Rights Reserved. Text Except Where Noted Copyright © Janice Keegan -2016 – All Rights Reserved. Wherever possible, links to music and video were provided directly from the artist or label. In some instances, direct links could not be found and are provided via public domain websites strictly for the purpose of the storyline and are in no way intended to infringe on any artist’s copyrights. Images and text except where noted may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Janice Keegan.