Beach House duo takes indie-rock to new levels

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Beach House

Baltimore natives Beach House are set to take the stage this weekend at the London Outdoor Live Arts festival (LOLA).

The two-piece band features Victoria Legrand on vocals/organ and Alex Scally on guitar.

The duo’s signature sound has often been compared to bands like Mazzy Star, Galaxy 500 and Slowdrive. Beach House relies on Victoria Legrand’s beautiful voice and swirling keyboard patterns. Legrand strikes many parallels to former Velvet Underground singer Nico.

Alex Scally’s slide guitar and laptop, mostly dispensing simple, homemade beats, together create an organic sound.

Never too busy to give an interview, even when they’re driving around aimlessly lost in the far reaches of Buffalo on their way to Toronto, Beach House described various aspects of where they’ve been and where they’re going.

The birth of Beach House was a long process.

“We formed Beach House when I moved to Baltimore,” Legrand explains. “I used to play with Alex in another band and when we broke up we continued on playing with each other. ”The boy-girl duo is certainly comfortable playing with each other despite the absence of other accompanying musicians.

“There’s no trouble playing. We are aware of each other on stage, so that makes playing music that much easier,” Legrand says. “The fact that we’re such a small band actually simplifies things, rather than making them more complicated. It’s actually a real challenge to make music with more musicians.”

With their original sound, it’s difficult to guess which musical influences they have drawn from. The album evokes a sort of “narcotic dreaminess.” Some stoner indie aficionados will enjoy the atmospheric interludes on their latest self-titled release.

“It’s really hard to say,” Legrand confesses. “We listen to a long list of bands, whether they are from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and so on; it’s really hard to pinpoint who exactly we emulate. The sound is undoubtedly our own.”

Beach House’s rhythmic section essentially contains homemade beats " there’s no room for drum machines here. The result gives Beach House a distinctly organic sound. Fans can hear this sound tonight at Victoria Park.

The dynamic duo are certainly grateful to the bands they have played with, which provided them with opportunities to play different shows.

“We were on tour with Grizzly Bear and all of a sudden we were asked to play LOLA,” Legrand explains. “Now we’re doing more and more shows.”

The Band: Beach House
Sounds Like: Mazzy Star, Slowdrive, Galaxy 500
Fun Fact: They got lost driving to London from Baltimore
Listen to: Saltwater
Where They’re Playing Next: Tonight at Victoria Park, 6pm, as part of LOLA

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