‘Sparks’, the lead single from new album Depression Cherry signals another change of pace for Beach House. Their first two albums were minimalist, quiet affairs, but their most critical and commercial success came in the form of Teen Dream and Bloom, glazed-over dream-pop glistening with reverb and atmospheric synths. ‘Sparks’ takes a detour into shoegazey guitars, but retains the spaced-out keyboards and distant drums. The lyrics are typically vague and cryptic, with Victoria Legrand singing ‘And then it goes dark again / just like a spark’, seemingly referring to a relationship ‘going dark’ and lighting back up again.
The most interesting part of the song is Alex Scally’s guitar lines, drenched in effects and covered by Legrand’s whispering vocals. It shows that Beach House are willing to evolve beyond their current sound, which tends to change every two albums or so. Whilst ‘Sparks’ isn’t a huge departure; the vocals could easily be from anything Beach House have released, as well as the psychedelic, repetitive synths and keyboard which aligns them with some of the softer moments of Tame Impala, but they are a lot less brash and more dreamlike than their Australian counterparts. A solid first taster, which looks forward as well as keeping what made Beach House so unique in the first place.