Beach House, Bloom
A long, slow burn
On Bloom, the fourth record by Baltimore duo Beach House, there aren’t hooks so much as sultry tendrils perpetually beckoning towards some smoky, purple-lit back alley that never entirely materializes. Alex Scally’s guitar ribbons and diddles over synths that twinkle and grind, and Victoria LeGrand’s voice is woozy and dark and supple. Increasingly, the words she sings hardly seem to matter, but listen close and there are snippets of sleepless nights, strange paradises, and the ability of the world to swallow you whole. Bloom‘s tracklist looks slight, but with every song pushing five minutes it’s actually a long, slow burn; there’s even an old-school hidden track tacked onto the nearly seven minutes of silence that following thrumming closer “Irene.” It’s a record that almost expects to hang around in the background, pulsing and twirling and ebbing in and out of consciousness. But it also functions incredibly well as an intimate headphones album: Even piped through dinky earbuds, it makes one hell of a private soundtrack, rendering the most gloriously mundane moments of life unreasonably, fiercely cool.