I think bands would kill for what Beach House have. So rare is it for a band to evolve as far as they have and yet, there is still no denying a sound that is so uniquely theirs. To be honest, this was the first Beach House in a while that really captured my imagination. I’ve enjoyed all their work, but “Once Twice Melody” is a different sort of Beach house album, but it’s still very much a Beach House album.
At eighteen tracks, it’s the longest work in their discography. It’s a grand statement, but it’s not the epic length that sets this record apart. No, No, its the space; it’s the weightlessness that makes “Once Twice Melody” stand out from their other records. Though Beach House trade in dream pop, to me, there has always been a gravity to their music. The music would encourage that feeling of floating, but in way where you were always aware of the ground below. I feel this was most present on their last album, 2018’s “7,” with its dark pulse and neon noir vibe.
“Once Twice Melody” substitutes that pulse for an ethereal levity. Here, there is no ground, no gravity, and no ceiling. The tracks float in and out like the faintest of clouds, mesmerizing you and releasing you to tumble around like a feather on the breeze. Even when the album moves into more driving territory, like the outstanding “Superstar” its still untethered and effervescent.
What I love about this album is how it’s such a prism that works with different moods. A song like “Only You Know” can be an absolute motivator — the kind of song that pushes you on that last leg of your morning run. At the same time, it can also be that comfort blanket when your curled up on the couch, just trying to get through the day.
Expanding a niche is tough, and Beach House have been doing it for well over fifteen years at this point. What you hear on this record is a letting go and an invitation for space to add a new element to their music. Heavy in the track list but light in sound, “Once Twice Melody” is an absolute gem, and one of those records where you hear a band add a whole new weapon to their arsenal to take that next evolutional step. Let go and ride the melody.
Check out all of Beach House’s outstanding albums on their Bandcamp page!