What Does “Minimalism” Mean to Beach House?

With the August 28th release of Beach House’s fifth studio album Depression Cherry hot on our heels, Paste Magazine privileged fans with a glimpse into the mind of lead singer Victoria Legrand. In a recent interview, writer Jonathan Dick dichotomously describes the album as “confrontational…while invoking a kind of quiet restraint at the same time.” Legrand warns us to not mistake this for a literal “return to simplicity,” a term actually used by the group to describe the album.

As for the simplicity thing, we should never have said that…we had gotten to a place of really wanting to be as natural as possible with what we would make and really let the songs dictate the form…

In the past, reviewers often resort to the term “minimalist” while describing Beach House’s sound. Legrand’s subdued voice paired with the dream pop melodies create a soft drone that can be mistaken as minimalist and repetitive. Pitchfork writer, Jayson Green, who gave the new album an 8.4 rating, provides a different, perhaps more accurate point of view.

Beach houses are rickety, inviting spaces that, by nature of their existence, live outside of time. If a beach house were to change noticeably…you’d be upset.

Legrand, on the other hand, suggests we may be overthinking the concept.

We’re not that aware of the other side, nor do we really care what people think about the fact that we do things the way that we do, because we just do them.

And these are the words of what many of us would consider to be a true artist, who follows her own path, in spite of what others think.

Hillary Crawford
Hillary Crawford
You could call me a dabbler when it comes to music. I find myself experimenting with anything from guitar to DJ-ing. Now, I'm writing about the only topic that never ceases to fascinate me. I may have been trained as a political journalist, but I'm a music enthusiast at heart.


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