Understated percussion, suspended synths, and woozy keyboard chords: at first, Beach House’s latest, ‘Norway’, will come as no surprise to their fans, as it opens with elements that the duo are already known for. It’s the restless guitar arpeggio that enters a little later that hints at a subtle change in direction for Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand. It lends the track a sense of pace, a focus, and a luster that were, by and large, lacking in their self-titled 2006 debut and 2008’s Devotion. It’s said that Beach House were traveling by train through Norway when they penned the tune, and the music’s relentless quality reflects that sense of movement.
Although it’s unmistakably a Beach House track, it suggests that they might have built upon their signature languid tone on their third album, Teen Dream (due to be released January 26 of next year, under Sub Pop). It seems less dreamy than their previous work, and Legrand’s warm, full-bodied tone gives weight to the track’s heartfelt and picturesque restraint. It is as she sings: “We were sleeping ‘til you came along” – and now, Beach House has woken up.
MP3: Beach House - Norway