Beach House to start the week. From a session recorded in December of 2009, the Baltimore duo (with added drummer) stir up an intoxicating roux of sounds and ethereal soundscapes in front of a living room full of invited guests in Paris.
Let me start by saying the concept behind these sessions, filmed live and posted via La Blogotheque are astonishing. An intimate setting – people sitting around the band, sometimes six inches away from an artist, in what is essentially someones living room is a brilliant idea. The concept behind “house concerts” isn’t all that new, but that someone took the initiative to record them for posterity is hugely important – and the relaxed atmosphere strips away any hint of pretense or self-consciousness and presents the music and the performance in some of its purest forms, and the interactions between artist and audience are the essence of what live performance music is all about.
That this happens just about every week in Paris only makes me wish they would do the same thing over here, under similar conditions. I have seen variations on this theme done with bands and solo artists in South America – a couple in the UK – all of them are wonderful records of events – and I would urge you to subscribe to their mailing list and YouTube page as a way of staying on top of upcoming gatherings.
Beach House has been one of my favorite American Dream-Pop/Indie endeavors the past 10 or so years. Learning about them first via MySpace (the much lamented music/arts/visuals portal that was around from 2004 until getting sold to Murdoch) and then following them on various tours – to Coachella, SXSW, Glastonbury and Pitchfork Music Festival, I’ve heard them grow as artists and as an ensemble – and smiling quietly to myself at the consistently positive reviews they’ve been getting for tours and albums ever since.
This session is from December 2009 and comes ahead of the release of their third album, Teen Dream, which was issued in January 2010 and considered something of a breakthrough album for them, becoming ranked as one of the best albums of 2010.
If you’re not familiar with Beach House, take the next 27+ minutes off and dive in for a spell.
Nice way to start a week.