That being said, Depression Cherry doesn’t quite scale the sheer heights of the duo’s preceding two records, Bloom or Teen Dream, but largely by fault of Beach House setting the bar so high themselves. While those perfect moments mixed their ephemera with just the right amount of dynamism, Depression Cherry lacks some of that extra punch overall. The subsequent “Space Song," for all it’s echoing of “fall back into place,” does offer it, however, and it soars through the stars with sparkling synth beats in exactly the way an intergalactic swim might sound if the waves could exist in a vacuum at all.
And it’s exactly a vacuum in which Beach House want to exist. In an official statement they explain that the new record is what happened when they "let [them]selves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which [they] exist,” shut away from it all. Even the relatively controlled environments of their own shows apparently dislocated them from their comfort zone, claiming “[T]he growing success... larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies.”
So what was already so simple has become more so. While the red velvet vinyl sleeve reminiscent of Bee Gees’ Odessa adds further texture, even their trend of solid, monochromatic cover art is simplified further, with the minimalist details of Teen Dream’s faint zebra stripes and Bloom’s dots vanquished in favor of pure, unadulterated stasis. At first (and second) listen it’s easy to glaze over the music in a similar way, though give it a chance and out of the homogeny come swirls of beauty. In a particular Beach House-y touch, the duo even handpicked select lyrics to display on their official Sub Pop site, aware of how hard it can be for listeners to distinguish them on their own.
On that same page they describe the record as "a color, a place, a feeling, an energy,” and it's represented literally on the sleeve. Like the seat cushion in that old chair at your grandmother’s, you can brush your fingers along Depression Cherry’s sonic textures one way to make it change shade as the fibers lean, then smooth it back out the other way again. You can spin your fingertip in a spiral, or make stripes, but it’s all still a surface level alteration in a cloud.
"The first thing that I do before I get into your house / I'm gonna tear off all the petals from the rose that's in your mouth,” “Beyond Love" quietly stabs, showing Legrand at her most aggressive. Breathing restless life into the ambient haze she wrestles, "I really wanna know / I really do breathe / We really do breathe / We really wanna know.”
These lyrical tones juxtaposed amidst the careful caress of the organ and slide guitar could leave a casual listener gliding by, blissfully unaware of the deeper, more forceful current rushing below the surface of gilded waters lapping calmly at his boat, yet that makes their realization all the more powerful. Legrand claws at you from the inside whether you're aware of it or not.
Later on, the spoken word alternating with a fleeting, slowed-down mirroring of John and Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” melody before captivatingly pleading guitar is layered with an angelic chorus makes the curiously named “PPP" a standout moment of not only the LP but their career. In “Bluebird” we find what is likely the only time Legrand will lie to you, as she soothingly misleads, “I would not ever try to capture you,” before “Days of Candy” ends Depression Cherry as fittingly as it began with the sendoff, “I know it comes too soon / The universe is riding off with you."
Whether it takes you where Legrand first longed to end up or not is up to you.