5: Beach House – Bloom

Beach House - Bloom

Lest this selection be accused of being too obscurely electronic in focus, here is a good old-fashioned collection of songs to cheer you up. Except that, unless you heard Beach House’s previous effort (2010’s Teen Dream), I’m pretty sure you won’t have heard anything like this before, and it isn’t remotely ‘old-fashioned.’ This could easily be called Teen Dream 2, because they aren’t really changing their style at all, but when you have a formula this good (and the song-writing skills to go with it) one collection of ten songs just isn’t enough. You could think of this like a victory lap. Bloom’s a lovely name for it, too, as that’s what their songs tend to do, unfurling in magnificent layers. They’re so confident that on final track, Irene, they break down to repeating one note, over and over, for what seems like minutes, then just when you think “hmmm, they’ve blown this one” they build a triumphant finale, all still based around that one tolling note, as if to say “hah!”