Checking in with Beach House
It's been a busy year for Beach House.
Since early 2009, the Baltimore dream pop duo has written a bunch of new songs, retreated to upstate New York to record them and signed to Sub Pop Records. The new album, "Teen Dream," comes out tomorrow.
A week ago, I met up with guitarist Alex Scally and singer/keyboardist Victoria Legrand in their East Baltimore warehouse practice space and talked to them for a couple hours about the new music.
Here's a link to a lengthy profile I wrote on the band, which ran in yesterday's A&E section.
And here are a few things that didn't make the paper ...
From the ages 14 to 21, Legrand took piano lessons and studied opera. Learning to sing opera was athletic, like building a muscle, she said. It's much different from the natural, instinctive way she sings now. But opera and classical piano are rigid by nature, which turned her off from performing them. Though Legrand hasn't sung opera in years, she still has an affinity for it.
"I love opera," Legrand said. "I used to listen to opera all the time. I'd cry, and act out the suicide scenes and all that stuff. When I was in high school, in "Madame Butterfly," when she kills herself, I would act it out."
Scally and Legrand have toured obsessively the past few years (playing something like 300 shows, they estimate), and are about to set out on another international tour next month.
Because of their modest success selling albums and show tickets and the signing to Sub Pop, they were able to quit their day jobs and be full-time musicians. That's not as glamorous as it sounds, though.
"We don't have jobs, but we're not any more well off than we were financially than we were a year ago," Scally said. "It's just, now we don't have time to work other jobs. If we we want to do this as well as we think we can do it, we have to do it all the time."
I think bigger things are in store for Beach House. "Teen Dream" is their best album yet, and dates on this tour are beginning to sell out already. Friday night, Beach House made their TV debut on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," performing "Zebra," the first track on "Teen Dream."
Here it is:
(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)