Beach House – B-Sides and Rarities
I discovered Beach House on their third album, Teen Dream, in 2010 purely by their association with the Bella Union record label. Bella Union is run by Cocteau Twins bassist and keyboard player Simon Raymonde. I have always admired the curated aesthetic he has achieved and maintained with the label, as well as his own otherworldly musicianship. Anytime I have happened across a release on Bella Union I have picked it up, out of curiosity and respect. Such was the case with Teen Dream and I had no idea how much of a treat I was in for.
Immediately I was transfixed by Beach House’s simple arrangements and melodies while simultaneously hypnotized by the lushness of their harmonies and depth of their lyrics. After going back and exploring their first two albums I have followed their every step with great joy. Seeing the band grow, change, pile on the accolades, then grow some more has been a thing to behold. They’ve given us a lot of music over these last ten years and seven albums. So at first the idea of a b-sides collection doesn’t sound too exciting, especially from a band known for dreaming and shoe-gazing. Its easy to think that these tracks wouldn’t electrify you but that is where you would be quite wrong.
These new songs, covers, alternate versions, b-sides, compilation tracks, holiday singles, hidden songs, etc. are all brought together as being every non-album track the band has released. As an album itself, B-Sides And Rarities provides a bit of a taste of everything Beach House does musically and it contains songs from almost every period of the band. Yet their songs remain so steeped in a time out of time that in truth this could be presented as the band’s new album of wholly new material and it would be hard to tell that it isn’t. The songs, however far flung the sources they are gathered from may be, work as well together as anything else they have released and are just as achingly beautiful.