Ever since Beyoncé dropped her eponymous album in December 2013 without any press indication of its release, the idea of a so-called “secret” album has become a goal for artists of all genres. Beach House, the band name for Baltimore dream pop duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, accomplished this goal with their latest album and second release of the year, “Thank Your Lucky Stars.”
In almost every song Legrand, the vocalist, and Scally, the guitarist, elicits a sense of Deja vu upon first listen, while also maintaining a sense of originality. A beautiful mix of MGMT, M83 and Silversun Pickups, Beach House embraces this familiarity and runs with it.
This album is much darker than “Depression Cherry,” their album from earlier this year, though the duo insists “Thank Your Lucky Stars” is not a B-side or a companion album to the earlier release. Much of the album is similar to their earlier releases, as the duo ditched the echo their previous albums shared for a crisper sound.
Both “Elegy to the Void” and “She’s So Lovely” have a much darker and eerier quality to them than most of their other music. With lyrics like “To your sons and daughters/Bending at the altar/Disappearing in the mirror” from “Elegy,” Legrand takes a step or two toward the dark side and stays there, marking her territory with jarring notes and sinister instrumentals.
Lighter pop songs like “All Your Yeahs” and “Majorette” offset this edge and flesh out the album, giving it a fuller sound. “Somewhere Beautiful,” though not as energetic and light, closes the album with a much softer tone as well, rounding out the improvements and changes the duo has made since their debut album.
Overall, “Thank Your Lucky Stars” is one of the more solid releases of this year because of the variety of the songs and the surprising nature of the album’s release. Though Beach House may not be releasing another album for a while after this monster year, listeners have plenty of ear candy from the duo for months to come.