The two-piece band lives and works in Baltimore.
When it comes to dream-pop, no one does it like Beach House. Along with Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective, Beach House helped define the indie aesthetic of the 2010s with their intoxicating blend of guitar, keyboard, and ethereal vocals. They've found fans in critics and celebrities alike (Beyonce and Jay-Z famously turned heads showing up at the band's Coachella set in 2010). And while their sound is otherworldly, it's their Bohemian charm that's emblematic of all things Baltimore.
Beach House was formed in 2004 by keyboardist/vocalist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally. Legrand was born on May 28, 1981, in Paris, France, and lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After studying theater at Vassar College and International Theatre School of Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she eventually moved to Baltimore. Scally (born July 15, 1982) was born and raised in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood, attending Oberlin College. The two met in the city and instantly connected as friends and musical soulmates, with the duo referring to it as an act of fate.
In 2006, they released their debut Beach House on Carpark Records. Two years later, they released their follow-up Devotion, which continued their signature sound of drum machines, keyboard, and guitar. But their breakthrough came on 2010's Teen Dream. Released on the legendary indie label Sub Pop, the record hit No. 43 on Billboard 200 and was featured on many year-end lists from music publications like Pitchfork, Spin, and Rolling Stone.
From there they made a string of well-received records like Bloom in 2012 and two separate records in 2015, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars. Both contain a "back to basics" approach with the minimalist aesthetic of their earlier records. Over the course of their 15+ year career, they've released seven records, including a B-sides collection aptly named B-Sides and Rarities (2017). Their latest record is 2018's 7, which draws on more industrial/shoegaze elements prevalent in their recent discography.
Baltimore holds a special place for the band, who continue to call the city home. Their practice space is located in the historic Fells Point area and the two have direct ties to the local culture (fun fact: Legrand once worked at Mexican restaurant Holy Frijoles!). The band has also appeared at local events like the Maryland Film Festival, where they presented the French film Vagabond in 2017.
Does anyone here like Beach House? Who are some other Baltimore artists you enjoy? Share them with us in the comments—we love hearing about local music!