"Something in the way your heart is nailed upon a hand, swimming in the cold waters, head above the sand."
Many many years ago, I heard The Velvet Underground's eponymous third album for the first time, and I've had a weakness for dreamy Psych-Rock ever since. Luckily, I spent my formative years in L.A. during the eighties, which was home base for a music scene called the Paisley Underground. Bands such as The Dream Syndicate, The Gun Club, Green on Red, and Opal were all, in their own ways, masterful interpreters of the VU sound. In the years since, I've listened to a lot of attempts by bands trying to approximate this sound, but they've always seemed like little more than Mazzy Star tribute bands. Beach House is an exception, however. This is largely due to Victoria Legrand's distinctively haunted vocals (something like Jesse Sykes in a drug-induced torpor) and the fact that this Baltimore duo takes the sound somewhere slightly new. Devotion sits nicely between their less-adorned debut and their more accessible recent Sub-Pop release, Teen Dream.