I gotta be up front: I have a weird competitive streak with Beach House because I’ve been in a few bands that sound like them, and they always make their space rock/dream pop seem so freaking effortless. I’ve spent nearly four years of my life in-and-out of studios trying to weave gold while they just seem to crank it out whenever they want. So annoying. Not their music, of course. I tried to hate on it for a while, but I couldn’t: It’s nifty, dreamy stuff, always economical in arrangement and running time. Plus, blogs like them a bunch and yet they are fairly gimmick-free and actually, you know, good, which is a nice change of pace.
The video for “Used To Be”, directed by Matt Amato, fits the music purposefully, even if it ain’t breaking new ground. The theme seems to be dusty motels and gas stations and it’s all a tad lonely and aimless and perfectly apropos. There’s an American flag there, and some broken windows… and… you know, it’s not the most engaging thing ever but it’s certainly pretty enough, much like the song itself. “Used To Be” occasionally adds just the right amount of guitar crust on top, blending perfectly with the chiming bells, organs, underlying pulse, and the kinda-loud tambourine. The arrangement and melodies are lovely. I tell you, it’s nice to hear a band that thinks about how all of its elements sit inside the song. (Even if they are my sworn enemies.)
Beach House – Used To Be [Pitchfork.TV]