Features | Awards

The Marty McFly Award for Best Album of 2010 in 2009

By Joel Elliott | 18 December 2009

Beach House :: Teen Dream
(Sub Pop; 2010)

I’m not going to devote a lot of space to this because it’s time will inevitably come anyway, and this is really the time to focus on stuff from 2009. Consider this a shameless promotion.

Not that it’s going to need it: I don’t think it’s too presumptuous to suggest that Teen Dream could end up being the kind of indie-crossover that Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was this year. It continues the path from analog haze to clarity suggested by Devotion (2008) but in a way where the gauze is implicit in the songwriting itself: shoegazing-as-stargazing or maybe vice-versa.

I can’t think of a more earth-bound singer than Victoria Legrand, and yet the arrangements carry an epic, torch-song quality. It almost reminds me of the way Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday could stand almost motionless on stage and deliver such force out of such grace. “The heart is a stone and it is a stone that we throw,” she sings on “10 Mile Stereo,” which is either an abandonment of self or a manifest extension of her desires into the natural world around her or somewhere in between. Either way it sounds incredible.