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Editor’s Pick #299: PS22 Sings Beach House by JohnCassillo
April 12, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,

PS22 is impressive in covering "Zebra"

PREVIEW: VISIT PS22 Chorus’s Blog

Maybe the internet has removed some of the novelty of amateur cover songs, but nonetheless, this one’s worth a glance. Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus recently posted their rendition of Beach House‘s “Zebra” (off of 2010’s Teen Dream), and the results are stunning as the fifth graders manage to nearly equal the haunting beauty of the original. For kids who wouldn’t listen to Beach House otherwise, it’s no small feat.

Of course, this also isn’t the first time the chorus has tried its hand at indie music. In the past, their harmonies have also been used on Passion Pit‘s Manners (see “The Reeling,” “Little Secrets” and “Let Your Love Grow Tall”). Couple that with the mainstream hype they’ve received from covering the likes of Beyonce, Lady GaGa and Alicia Keys (among others), and it’s easy to understand how they’ve amassed over 15 million online views over the past couple of years.

Check out the video below the cut and see for yourself. Continue reading

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ISSUE 21 | Reviews: Beach House’s Teen Dream by 20watts

Beach House's Teen Dream is pretty close to a melodic masterpiece.

Part of our ISSUE 21 coverage!

PREVIEW: Visit Beach House’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 18/20 Watts

High school usually boiled down to one thing: hormones. Beach House’s lovingly constructed third full-length effort officially dropped at the beginning of the year, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it’s almost a pity that they don’t have any serious competition yet. Teen Dream might already be the best dream pop album of 2010.

The record is dense. Tightly wound but spaciously executed, the songs on this would-be break-up album wander as much as they gallop. On certain tracks, Victoria Legrand’s airy, atmospheric vocals sound as lost as Alex Scally’s guitar work sounds confident, and vice-versa.

They play against each other through­out the record. Album opener “Zebra” en­ters with a single curious Continue reading

ISSUE 21 | Q&A: Beach House by 20watts

20 Watts Interviews Alex Scally of Beach House

Part of Issue 21 coverage!

Alex Scally is one-half of dream pop duo Beach House. He and bandmate Victoria Legrand released their acclaimed third record Teen Dream in late January. The Baltimore natives are currently on tour in Europe and will be coming back to the United States in time to play Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival the day before Pavement.

Already one of the dreamiest acts of 2010, we expect awesome things from Beach House in the future.

20 Watts: You two have just released your latest album Teen Dream. How is it constructed compared to your earlier stuff?

Alex Scally: We usually start off with one very simple and exciting idea and then try to let it grow into something more substan­tial. We’ve been touring for years now with hundreds and hundreds of shows, so we have a lot of experience to rest on. We had seven or eight months away from touring to just work and let things really grow. Then we had, for the first time, the ability to go into the studio and record. We recorded for three weeks, which, for us, is an insane luxury. It’s just like the other albums. The songs grew the same way, but we had a Continue reading

20 Watts Reviews Beach House’s Teen Dream by JohnCassillo

Beach House's Teen Dream is a beautiful account of young love and heartbreak

PREVIEW: STREAM Beach House’s “Norway”
WE GIVE IT: 18/20 Watts

Beach House‘s third full-length, Teen Dream, is a spectacle the likes of which will be hard to surpass in 2010. From the soaring, haunting chamber pop choruses, reminiscent of Grizzly Bear‘s Veckatimest, to the dreamy, pop landscapes it creates, the album is a testament to all that indie accomplished in 2009. And all it’s sure to accomplish in the coming year and beyond.

A deeply personal account of teenage emotions, Teen Dream plays to its title impeccably. The shuffling, nonchalant “Silver Soul” prods the issues at hand, while overall leaving them a mystery. Honest and heartfelt numbers like the 2008 single “Used to Be” and “Lover of Mine” take a more straightforward approach. The problems — mostly lost love and the subsequently forlorn existence — take form in their most crucial, vulnerable states. We see them for what the author sees them as, the crux of their young world. Continue reading

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Emerging Aritist: Yucuna by cweeks88

"Yuk, yuk, Yucuna"... Taking self-loathing in music to a higher level....

VISIT Yucuna’s Myspace

DOWNLOAD Yucuna’s “Bogota” MP3

I know what you’re probably asking: “What the hell is a Yucuna?” Now, without having to Google or Wikipedia it, I’m going to say it’s an Australian animal that dudes kill with boomerangs. Happy?

Anyways, with no gig listings out there, and a Myspace profile view count (as of this post) of 80, Yucuna is a prime example of why living in this new Internet age so freaking exciting and amazing! Continue reading

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Editor’s Pick #230: Spoon’s “Written In Reverse” by JohnCassillo

"Written In Reverse" is the first single off Spoon's Transference

PREVIEW: Listen to “Written In Reverse” at NPR

The hype’s already getting rolling for a bunch of albums coming out this January–namely new material by Beach House, Vampire Weekend and of course, Spoon.

“Written In Reverse” is the first single off of Spoon’s Transference, and if it’s any indication of the rest of the effort, we’re in for quite a different experience than 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Lead singer Britt Daniel‘s vocals are less concise–sprawling over the dirty, rock ‘n’ roll background. It’s repetitious, basic and busy. Yet, the track works, somehow. Evoking some visions of The White Stripes‘ experimentation on Get Behind Me Satan, Transference very well could be a new chapter in Spoon’s interesting career. However, we’ll just have to wait until its release to get the final verdict.

Spoon’s Transference is out via Merge Records on January 19th.

–John Cassillo, Reviews Editor

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