Beach House “Sparks”

Through their first three albums, Beach House had been getting better at every step. Up to 2010’s Teen Dream, it was clear Alex Scally and Victoria LeGrand had sharpened – if not perfected – their signature dream pop sound. Yet then 2012’s Bloom came along, and although gorgeous and perfectly serviceable, the LP didn’t seem to indicate any sonic evolution. But any worries of continued stasis were silenced with the stunning, loud “Sparks.” Their newest single is a masterpiece in terms of shaping beauty out of chaos. There’s distortion and layered vocals and guitar work from Scally that is louder and more uneven than ever. Yet all of this wobbly noise works in service of accentuating the beauty and energy of LeGrand’s unmistakable voice. Who cares if we can’t hear the lyrics?