Indie kids harbor this delusion that their shit don’t stink, but champion as many steaming loafs as punks and hard rockers. One recent lottery winner is Beach House, whose turgid Fall-flavored shuffles suggest Mazzy Star on Ambien. The music wanders listlessly about the room, expressing moody dissatisfaction and a contagious sense of ennui, while indulging a petulant spat with melody and pep. The gauzy, lo-fi setting for this minimalist pop fosters the impression they’re coyly reticent when the truth is they simply have nothing to say. Victoria LeGrand’s husky vocals affect dramatic sweep and stature that strives for Marianne Faithfull but sounds more like Kate Bush being drowned in her bathtub. Her voice isn’t rich and grainy, it’s wood paneling. Usually music this bland doesn’t make it out of the elevator, though the soft-focus texture makes sense—like photography, it’s great at disguising the fact that you don’t want to look too closely.
Thurs., Feb. 24, 8pm. $19. With Papercuts. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
PW's Music Issue 2014