Each Tuesday, FADER editor Matthew Schnipper highlights an underappreciated recent release he thinks we need to know about. This week it’s Beach House’s "Used to Be" 7-inch. Watch the video, buy the songs digitally and read Schnipper’s thoughts on it after the jump.
This weekend Cape Cod's weather was nice, except for the day it wasn't I read a modern crime thriller on the beach in two days. I did not put sunscreen on the parts of my back I couldn’t reach and those parts got burnt. They are now beginning to peel. The traffic there was good, traffic on the way back was terrible. I ate a veggie dog on a hamburger bun. I saw a pack of coyotes and a yard full of flowers. I didn’t go in the ocean. I drove a red convertible with the top down, I drove it with the top up. I won at mini-golf, though I think it might have actually been a tie. My friend Justin said he was having a good time when he was having a good time, so we took a picture. My mom bought a pink hat. My friends bought me pink flipflops. My dogs have tumors, they slept all day. The house was the same as always, two decks, spiky grass, pastel blues and a lot of comfortable space. Drank enough beer to float away.
Eating donuts the morning before I came back to New York I thought about Beach House because I looked up and there was a wood sign nailed to the wall that said “BEACH HOUSE.” I guess my mom got it. It’s probably been there forever. This is the only Beach House record I own. It’s really nice. What else is there to say?
It doesn’t make sense that they’re called Beach House. They should just be called Beach. A beach house is a conduit, a caption. I read a newspaper article a few years ago about the prevalence of athletes filming the crowds gathered at their homecoming and championship parades. Why would they film the audience? They were the event. That is a beach house. A beach house can be warm and simple and full of life and ease, but it’s never what you came to see, would never be worth its salt without the beach’s lusty nearness. Beach House’s “Used to Be” is a simple song. I am sure that it has changes and moving parts, but I prefer to think of it as living on a beautiful plain. There is a little drum thump and bells and Victoria Legrand’s caroling voice. I know she is singing words but it’s better to imagine her wordless. It’s more lifelike that way, the unending caw of the untapped wilderness.
On the way back from the beach we passed a car that said in big white letters WILD PARROTS with a phone number. There were no parrots in the car. That’s a beach house, an exciting tease. But maybe I am wrong and that isn’t Beach House. “Used to Be” isn’t a tease, despite its quickness. It’s completely fulfilling. First night at the beach we went to the Candy Manor to buy candy. I bought two homemade peanut butter cups. I ate one at the house. It was incredible. Then I fell asleep on the floor. When I woke up, I went to the bag for the second one. Someone had eaten it already. First I was sad. Then I realized I didn’t need any more, one was sweet and sating enough. That’s Beach House. A few days later, hungry and tired, I got more peanut butter candy but it was not designer. It wasn’t so bad.