When political times get tough, artists get dreamy. Stuck in the Vietnam War and immersed in the civil rights movement, musicians in the '60s engaged in psychedelic escapism. Fumbling through the Iraq War and trapped in the murky quicksand of the economy, the current political tenor resembles the chaotic '60s. And artists are again drifting into their own fantastic worlds. Enter the thoughtful, wistful soundscape of Beach House. The Baltimore-based duo of Alex Scally (guitar, keyboards) and Victoria Legrand (vocals, organ) broke out of obscurity with their self-titled 2006 debut on Carpark Records. Surrounding Legrand's pretty, deadpan voice (think: Nico) with bubbling organ and Casiotone percussion, the album won the hearts and minds of Pitchfork and other indie tastemakers with its stripped-down DIY dream pop. And since the Iraq War hasn't gone away and the economy has taken a turn for the worse, Beach House has returned with another cure for your political ills: 2008's Devotion. The first single, "Gila," holds enough water to propel Beach House beyond the indie ranks. If not, the song serves as another beautiful slice of escapist pop for those in the know.
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