Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House have been redefining their own brand surreal, flip-flop-gazing art/pop over the course of three albums including '09's breakout Teen Dream. New Bloom (May 15, Sub Pop) continues the dreamy soundscapes with Legrand, the niece of legendary French composer Michel Legrand, and Scally taking us by the hand and leading us through celestial, chiming guitars, dense electronic atmospherics and hymnlike vocal harmonies for a stately sound that touched both Pet Sounds and Cocteau Twins. The duo, who shared co-production duties with Chris Coady say they wanted the self-described "darker" album to be consumed as a real album, a full fledged collection songs with a singular vision. Tracks like the seductive "Myth" and the more delicate shadings of "On the Sea" aren't so much shifts from the Beach House playbook as they are more nuanced refining, adding more complex orchestration -- chamber pop for the XL stage -- and creating moods that seem more attuned to relatively clear-eyed late night headphone bliss than the harsh haze of early AM rays.
Beach House - Bloom Sampler (Other People, On the Sea, Wild, Wishes)
Stream the full album at NPR