Sub Pop
May 03, 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B+

It’s almost too terrestrial to say that a Beach House record drops; it wafts, carried in on a psychedelic breeze of reverb and ambient feelings.

Almost a dozen years in, the coed Baltimore duo have become unlikely heroes of the festival and college-radio circuit: opening for bands like Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear, performing late-night sets on Colbert and Fallon, and mastering the art of making surreal music videos starring time-lapse houseplants or beloved secondary characters from Twin Peaks.

With its chemtrail vocals and dense layers of guitar haze, 7 is in no danger of derailing the band’s reputation as the reigning slow lorises of indie rock. After opening with an improbably propulsive drum roll, the album settles into its dream-pop signature: “Lemon Glow” is a monument to submarine synths and shimmering percussion; “Pay No Mind” sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today” at 38 rpm; “Black Car” blooms into the ozone.

While multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally paints his pillowy soundscapes, keyboardist-vocalist Victoria Legrand floats above it all, musing on “the color of your mind” and “skinny angels making eyes.” 7‘s artful wooziness is hardly new, but for Beach House, it feels like home. B+

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