It’s ironic how a collection of castoffs and orphaned gems can blend into a masterpiece that almost proves more profound than the artist’s previous six records. Beach House, the bittersweet noir-electro duo from Baltimore, is coming off the well-received 2015 releases of Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, but you don’t have to be a die-hard fan to groove to B-sides and Rarities.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been emitting their dreamy and brooding electro-pop for over 13 years now, and while their six albums have touched vastly different moods and spectral variances, the common theme pulls this eclectic sampling together effortlessly. Both “Chariot” and “Baseball Diamond” were 2015 omissions that match Depression Cherry gravity and wistfulness, while “Rain In Numbers” harkens back to 2005 with a low-production yet endearing piano twinkling and string arrangement.
The highlight of the 14-track offering comes from a Queen cover of “Play The Game” which brings the lachrymose signature slow-down to a classic. “10 Mile Stereo” has a sinister undercurrent that prescribes itself as oddly addictive, while the improved production from a 2010 Itunes Session leaves “White Moon” and “Norway” as typically clean and listenable tracks.
While the title may suggest that this is an album specifically for vehement Beach House fans, that isn’t the case. The motley mix is ripe to attract new fans if given the right chance. Beach House continues to impress and inspire with a shockingly intimate and impressive live show, but it’s the fact that a collection of ‘reject’ tracks proves better than 99% of other music out there, marks the duo’s quality of the highest order.