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Beach House Finds Warmth in Beautiful Gloom

While not all music is seasonal, no band appears better suited for cold nights and gloomy days than Beach House. In spite of their band's sunny name, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand seem to tailor their alluringly dreary dream-pop for the gray winter months. Still, their songs sound equally enchanting and warm.

Following up on the cult success of Beach House's first record, Devotion again finds the duo filling its songs' cavernous spaces with hushed melodies and delicate instrumentation. "D.A.R.L.I.N.G." utilizes pulsating organs, ghostly slide guitars, and the occasional minimalist analog beat to color the harmonies in a dark bed of '60s pop balladry and '80s new wave.

Legrand's breathy, Nico-like vocal sounds appropriately ethereal while expressing love and regret: "In this harbor of the room / you'll find your anchor soon / In the parting of our ways / may it never happen anyway." Like most of Devotion, "D.A.R.L.I.N.G." doesn't shift much in tone, tempo, or dynamic. But its subtle moods and melodies are hard to resist.

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