ANNIVERSARY: Beach House’s “Teen Dream” Album Enters Its Teen Years
Written by Gina Zapata on February 9, 2023
January 26 marks thirteen years since the release of Teen Dream, an album by Beach House that would later influence indie alternative bands to create similar music. Beach House consists of the duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, who met in Baltimore in 2004. Scally would refer to Legrand as his “musical soulmate.”
Teen Dream is the band’s third album. It includes layered sounds of nineties shoegaze, dream pop melodies, and Victoria Legrand’s hypnotic vocals. Its catchy melodies make listeners want to listen over and over again. Kendrick Lamar has even sampled their song “Silver Soul” in his song “Money Trees.”
Teen Dream encapsulates the feelings of being a teen, love, and heartbreak, which is precisely what listeners can think about while listening to the album. Legrand and Scally describe the process of what creating their music can feel like, according to an interview with Charlie Rose. For example, with the song “Zebra,” Scally stated, “I started playing it for Victoria, and she instantly started to hear, she said the way it sounds it sounds like a zebra-like running or crisscrossing.”
Next, the album transitions to “Silver Soul,” which is one of their most popular songs. It describes the cycle of love and heartbreak that a teen may experience. Then, it smoothly transitions into “Norway,” which was written when the duo was in Norway on a train in 2008. Inspired by the Norwegian landscape, listeners can imagine fantasy and longing as the song plays. Legrand says that it’s about “the relationship between the heart… in motion, going through the land.” The tracklist smoothly transitions into each song, which can be pleasant to hear and adds a layer of interpretation.
Finally, the album cover represents what Victoria Legrand envisioned with the zebra image. It includes the prints of many zebras, which was then zoomed in and tinted yellow. Throughout the years, there have been releases of the album cover in blue and pink as seen below.
Teen Dream left a great impact on future artists, and has also brought back a familiar sound. The duo’s influences include Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Slowdive, Mazzy Star, Nico, and many more. This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of Beach House’s album since its release on January 26, 2010.