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January 25, 2010

Don't I know you better than the rest?


(There are two more music posts coming up this afternoon, because I wanted to get them up before the links at First Listen expire. If you're only going to pay attention to one, it should be this one.)

Please go listen to Teen Dream by Beach House right now. Shani O from PostBourgie tweeted about it the other day, and I can't stop listening. I preordered the CD, even. The whole album somehow hits the title perfectly - it really does feel like a dreamy version of some sort of archetypical teenagerhood. It all sounds like it could have been on the Veronica Mars soundtrack, and it makes me think of Sarah Dessen novels and maybe A House Like a Lotus and Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle. The album perfectly encapsulates the mix of promise and innocence with regret or nostalgia for the parts of that innocence that have already been lost and, more than anything, the total transience of the adolescent experience.

Both the vocals and the instrumentation give it an often droning sound that could get annoying fast, but doesn't. The fabulous keyboard parts are a large part of the dream-like quality. The vocals are a little fuzzy and sometimes hard to understand, but that doesn't bug me as much as it usually would because what they're really going for here is the atmosphere. It did make it difficult to quote the lyrics for you, though. The songs are similar enough to clearly make a coherent whole, but different enough to keep it from getting boring.

I had a really hard time deciding which songs to include here, so you really should listen to the whole thing. But here are a few.

Here's "Norway," with the best example of the droning I was talking about:

"Walk in the Park:"

"In a matter of time
It would slip from my mind
In and out of my life
You would slip from my mind
In a matter of time"

"Used to Be" has shades of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, no?

"In an endless night, could you feel the fright of an age that was and could never be?
So we hold it close when we feel the most like a love that we could not leave behind
Turn the wheel to each way we feel til I'm lost and I cannot find you there
Don't forget the nights when it all felt right, are you not the same as you used to be?

Coming home, any day now, any day now, any day now, coming home..."

The quote in the title of this post, by the way, is from "Zebra," and we'll end with one from "10 Mile Stereo" that nicely sums it all up: "They say you'll go far, but they don't know how far we'll go . . ."

Posted by Kat at January 25, 2010 11:00 AM
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