"When the words were uttered we knew that we had a world in which the songs that we started writing would exist in, and the ones that would follow would be a part of as well". That's how Victoria Legrand
explains the revelation that accompanied the naming of Beach House
's latest and greatest record Teen Dream
. In this exclusive interview with Legrand and collaborator Alex Scally
, the band discuss the energy that spawned Teen Dream, as well as their hopes for how it's eventually perceived. - David Pitz
The Beach House you're about to meet isn't the same you may remember from before. Lives have been shuffled, tangled and re-aligned.
When Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally returned home to Baltimore last winter, they were worn thin from touring and travel. But deep inside them hot energies were incubating, ideas they had been whispering back and forth in the wake of their sophomore full-length, 2008's Devotion. By the following spring they began handing themselves over completely to those impulses, holing themselves up and exchanging ideas in a new, secluded practice space for dangerously long periods of time. As the songs that would become Teen Dream began to live, breathe and take shape, the duo was forced to leave much of their personal lives behind them. "We're the same people, but this record has changed our directions," Legrand muses. "We were forced to let go of people and things we were holding onto as individuals: normalcy, daily rituals, the ability to take care of ourselves. We were dropped into a wilderness, but we had more clarity than we've ever had before."
Still driven to avoid distraction, the two marched further into isolation, to bottle up all those wild visions away from home. They packed up their lives and settled into a converted church in upstate New York with producer Chris Coady. For a month they continued the birthing process, sweating and pushing out sounds inside a cocoon of their very own weaving. "It wasn't about arriving at a church and it revolutionizing a feeling," Scally notes. "It was a continuation of what we were doing without disruption. Whenever something good happens, we look at each other and we know that was it. It's instinctual and it's private." Through the course of a month, they chased down songs and dark rushes, the creative telepathy that Scally and Legrand share together taking a strangely physical hold. "There's a different level of intimacy, a physicality on Teen Dream," Legrand explains, pacing back and forth. "Rhythmically, there's new motion. This record touches you. On your chest."
The skyward pulse of "Walk In the Park" and "10 Mile Stereo" elicit just those reactions, two vibrant, volcanic examples of a record and band bursting at its incandescent seams. It is without question, more expansive and moving than anything they have shared before. "I'm ready to give it away," Legrand says of this, their first effort as part of the Sub Pop family. "I'm done holding onto it. I want to give it away, I want it to become something else for people. It is born now."
Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand are from Baltimore, Maryland. They are not a couple and Teen Dream is their third full-length album.