By Claire Dunham, Staff Writer
“Superstar,” a track off of Beach House’s 2022 album Once Twice Melody, offers a celestial depiction of lost love.
Once Twice Melody is an unprecedented release for Beach House as the band’s first self-produced album and their first double LP. The Baltimore-based dream pop duo, created in 2004, is known for their mellow melodies, otherworldly synth sounds, and evocative lyrics. Once Twice Melody fully captures the essence of the distinct Beach House sound.
With one of the lead singles, “Superstar,” the duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand illustrate loss with captivating cosmic imagery.
DIVING INTO THE LYRICS AND SOUND OF “SUPERSTAR”
Scally and Legrand each have more than twenty years of songwriting experience. The two have not only created a distinct Beach House sound but also have a unique lyrical style. They frequently incorporate traditional poetic techniques into their song lyrics. The lyrics of “Superstar” include two of these techniques: symbolism and repetition.
The star depicted in the song symbolizes a past lover. The chorus, “When you were mine, we fell across the sky, backlit up against the wall,” compares the relationship’s fallout to two stars falling “across the sky.” This clever symbolism, paired with mesmerizing synth instrumentals, transports listeners to outer space. The brilliant use of this technique also allows fans to clearly envision the passion, radiance, and eventual destruction of the relationship.
Poetic repetition is featured at the end of the song, as the chorus is repeated three times. This repetition solidifies the extreme emotions of loss and longing present in the song. Additionally, the technique suggests that thoughts of the lost lover continually echo in the singer’s mind. Lyrics like, “It may be out of sight, but never out of mind,” illustrate the haunting nature of these repetitive thoughts, by revealing that the pain is “never out of mind.” Overall, the lyrics are immersive, poetic, and distinctly Beach House-esque.
LOOKING DEEPER INTO THE SOUND OF “SUPERSTAR”
The sound of “Superstar” complements its wistful lyrics. The expert songwriters collaborated with drummer James Barone, who has been playing with the band since 2016. Barone’s steady drumbeats create a solid foundation for the song’s dreamy layered synth sounds and echoing vocals.
The blend of Scally and Legrand’s voices creates a beautiful symphonic effect. “Superstar” is full of many complex sounds, but Beach Sound’s audio mixing is flawless.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR BEACH HOUSE?
On February 18th, Beach House kicked off the Once Twice Melody World Tour. This tour is monumental as it marks the group’s first time performing live in almost three years. Bostonians will have a chance to experience Beach House’s out-of-this-world sound on July 22nd at Roadrunner.
The band will also play alongside iconic artists like Car Seat Headrest, Billie Eilish, and Green Day at several music festivals this summer.
In an interview with Consequence Sound, Legrand emphasized the dynamic nature of Beach House and their concerts, “There are definitely songs that we want to play every night, but we want to change it up. We’ve never been a robot band.”
Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!