OK Productions and Windstorm Productions presented Beach House with Jessica Pratt to a sold out crowd at The Buckhead Theatre Tuesday night. Beach House is currently touring the US for their recently released album, Depression Cherry, their first album since releasing Bloom in 2012.
Jessica Pratt took the stage with her guitar, sitting in a chair amongst the equipment set up for Beach House’s later performance. Jessica is a LA based singer-songwriter who’s music pays tribute to that of 60’s style folk like Joni Mitchell or David Crosby. She released her sophomore album On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015) in early 2015. Pratt sings wistfully over her guitar, plucking while she bends her pitches to the strum of each string. Her music is simple but complex while she layers her ethereal voice to intertwine with her simple guitar; creating light and airy songs. Tuesday night left the crowd quietly zoning out while listening to the soft hypnotic hum of Jessica’s voice. As musicians, that’s what you want the people to do; listen intently.
Obviously the people of Atlanta love Beach House. Selling out the Buckhead Theater a month before the show is one clue! Recently releasing their much anticipated fifth studio album, Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) at the end of August. The Baltimore, Maryland duo of vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally had us waiting three whole years for a new release. The rather long wait was totally worth it. Beach House has always been that band that gives you the feel of either wanting to chill out or go and find the love of your life. Their last release, Bloom (Sub Pop, 2012) brought us the dreamy sounds and made us float with the boasting drums and long echoey guitar riffs with the backing of the keyboard. You wanted to float and dream about the possibilities in life and love. The point is that they helped us step out of the stress of reality and into something a little more imaginative. Depression Cherry brought us out of the dream and back into the reality now wanting to feel it. They brought the organ to the front accompanied by that haunting guitar and pumping up the synth to give you this great punch of intensity. The whole album lingers with you; each song clings to you as soon as you transition to the next. As we are all trying to process the new album, and take every lyric of it in, Beach House wasn’t quite done with you this year. The band announced on October 7th they would be releasing another album out October 16th on Sub Pop called Thank Your Lucky Stars. The band stated on their Facebook page that “It was recorded at the same time as Depression Cherry, but for us, it’s very much a different record. All of its songs were written after the DC songs. Along the way, we realized that we didn’t want it to be released in the traditional manner. Mainly, we just wanted our listeners to hear it first. We will have more info later……”. We can’t wait to see what kind of album this will bring.
As the band took to the dim stage with white sheer drapery behind them for what we could only expect was for some creative backlighting. Victoria begins to play the organ and begins singing “Levitation” from Depression Cherry and it’s perfect. As she tells us “There’s a place I want to take you” indeed we were ready to go with them. The lighting, although not a photographers dream, captivated the evening with taking the attention off of them and instead turning the attention to just the sound. Evoking a feeling of the raw emotion of just being able to listen to the music without a lot of the visual distraction of a live show. Something that isn’t very common amongst artists. This is what separates Beach House as being just a musician versus a slightly avant-garde artist. They brought a great balance of old and new to the set list, from Bloom: “Wild”, “Other People” and “The Hours”. Teen Dream (Sub Pop, 2010): “Norway” and “10 Mile Stereo”. Fans of Beach House soaked every ounce of what they were turning out including the new songs from Depression Cherry “Space Song” and “Beyond Love”. This is an album meant to be heard live. It soars with incredible intensity and completely captivates the audience. Beach House knows how to produce songs to resonate and stick to you; Depression Cherry is just another example of how they make that happen.
Before leaving the stage, Victoria and Alex perform a haunting rendition of Blooms opening track “Myth” and got the crowd singing and swaying along with the rhythm. The band came back for an encore and treated us to “Where Ever You Go” the hidden track on Bloom’s last song “Irene” and “Sparks” from Depression Cherry. From the backlighting and Victoria’s voice that echoes through they truly created something magical and swoon worthy that night. Something Atlanta won’t soon forget.
/- Lisa Parish
Additional photos of Beach House by Mike Gerry:
Additional photos of Jessica Pratt by Mike Gerry:
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