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OPINION: Review of Once Twice Melody, Beach House’s eighth studio album

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Nettie Gastelum | The Daily Wildcat

Digital illustration of alien listening to music in headphones. 

I have seen that usually, when artists release many albums, their quality goes downhill, but it is not the case for Beach House. Their eighth album, Once Twice Melody, shows how much they have grown in just under 20 years. There is so much growth with sound and lyrics as they release awe-inspiring albums that have transformed the indie-pop genre. 

This album has four chapters released about a month apart since Nov. 10; the entire album was released on Feb.18. Chapter one is called "Pink Funeral," chapter two is called "New Romance" and was released on Dec. 8, chapter three is called "Masquerade" and was released on Jan. 19 and the final chapter is "Modern Love Stories" which was released on Feb. 18. The 18-song album is a hit across the board, receiving an 84% via Metacritic and a 9.3 rating thanks to their user reviews. 

Once Twice Melody, spanning 84 minutes, is a dreamy pop/indie album and a new sound for the group. The melodies are stunning, and the songs are whimsical and soothing. The combination of the vocals and the instruments is hard to beat. According to their Spotify, Beach House comprises Victoria Legrand, lead vocalist and keyboardist, and Alex Scally, backup vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. The duo started in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2004 and wrote all of their songs together. 

From listening to it repeatedly, the album uses a variety of instruments like acoustic guitar, a string ensemble and a drum machine. The use of the string ensemble is brand new for the band, and it is used beautifully. Each song blends into the next and the lyrics are beautifully written. The drum portions of the songs were arranged by James Barone, who also worked with the band for their 2018 album, 7, and the strings were arranged by David Campbell according to beachhouse.bandcamp.com

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This album is excellent; however, the songs are lengthy, with the shortest at 3 minutes and 41 seconds and the longest at 7 minutes and 11 seconds. Beach House usually writes more lengthy songs, with their longest music spanning just over 15 minutes. Dan Kopf, a data editor for Quartz, found in 2019 the songs on the radio are generally not longer than 5 minutes. So this album is a definite change from what radio listeners are used to. 

The album is the first that the duo has produced entirely on their own. According to beachhouse.bandcamp.com, the songs in the album were primarily written between 2018 and the summer of 2021. However, some of the songs were written over 10 years and most of the songs were recorded at Apple Orchard Studio in Baltimore. 

Listeners can put the album on, sit back and dissolve into the dreaminess of the album. The way each song connects to the last and the chapters overlap to have a beautiful story that captures the album's overall theme, which is the highs and lows of being in love. The album is about overcoming a heartbreak and each song is a different emotional experience that goes with heartbreak. The last song, “Modern Love Stories,” is about how universal heartbreak is. 

Though the album blends exceptionally well, the songs started to sound the same by the end of the album. Yes, they were beautiful, but not very distinguishable from each other. 

The band is currently on a tour that spans nine countries and includes around 50 shows. The tour kicked off on Feb. 18 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, concluding July 24 in Washington D.C., according to RollingStone. 


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Kelly Marry

Kelly Marry (she/her) is a freshman majoring in journalism and public relations. She loves to read and travel in her free time.


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