Some pairings are easy, and others are a little tougher. The cilantro-scallion swirls that Kasey is featuring in the Kitchen this morning fell into the latter category. I spent literally hours sifting through my library to seek out a suitable pairing growing increasingly bummed out by the lack of inspiration. And then I stumbled upon Beach House‘s debut album (the only Beach House album we haven’t previously featured on TK), and I knew I had a winner. Crisp on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside, the textures and flavors of those savory buns strike me as an excellent analogy for the sonic characteristics of this Baltimore-duo’s debut. The LP is a collection of swirling ballads and sedated waltzes that feature stark, brisk instrumentation and singer Victoria Legrand’s crisp, unaffected vocals. But despite the austere exterior of the melodies, there is a discernible warmth flowing through them.
Although we’ve never been afraid to feature albums that aren’t brand new (which would strike me as a silly restraint), it seems like an excellent time to revisit this particular album. It received immediate critical acclaim upon its release, but as far as I can tell it remains pretty much unknown to the world at large (although the band has received wider recognition based on the acclaim of their subsequent albums). For example, a sample of the track “Master of None” is featured prominently in The Weeknd’s “The Party & After Party.” Since the Weeknd’s quick rise in popularity, the sample has been used in at least one hip hop track – and I was dismayed to see a fellow music blog (who will remain unnamed) credit the sample in the hip hop track to The Weeknd without mention of Beach House although there was no trace of the Weeknd’s contributions in the clip. Anyways, if you haven’t taken the time to settle in with this one, now is a good time. It’s a grower. And even if you have made it’s acquaintance, I’ve found that it’s a wonderful time to revisit tracks like “Apple Orchard,” “Master of None,” “Auburn & Ivory,” and “Childhood” all of which unfurl slowly like late autumn flowers.