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Album Review: Beach House - 'Once Twice Melody'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Legendary dreampop duo Beach House are back with their eight studio album, Once Twice Melody. It drops everywhere this Friday on Subpop, was produced entirely by the duo, and man is this album a mammoth. Clocking in at 18 tracks, there's a lot to digest here. Lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Victoria Legrand's ethereal vocals pair perfectly with the melodies that Legrand and back-up vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally create. The tracks on Once Twice Melody linger on the longer side of the scale, with some ranging from six to seven minutes. However, they never feel overly long. And some of the tracks on here are the perfect soundtrack for you to drift away or dissociate to.

That's not to mean that Beach House can't kick it up a notch. They certainly do on the track "Runaway" that instantly had me vibing and envisioning people dancing. No, I think what's most interesting about Once Twice Melody is the diversity in sound and instrumentation that Legrand and Scally are able to achieve. Some songs feature acoustic guitar primarily and are more stripped down. Others are centered more on electronic instrumentation. Hell, they even bring in a string section for some of the tracks. Also, some songs feature percussion prominently and others have none at all. It really does keep you guessing in a way.

Is this diversity a bad thing? One thing I always want in an album is some thematic certainty that ties it together. I think Beach House achieves that here on Once Twice Melody, but it's hard to deny there's a lot to unpack. In short, it's ambitious, conceptual, and daring. Did they stick the landing? That's for you to decide.

Rating - 3.75/5

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