There is a common misconception among Australians that Americans are all ‘fake nice’. Its one of those things where you meet one and they are über enthusiastic and excited to meet you and you think, “what the fuck is that guy’s problem?” But if you talk to them long enough, most of the time, you feel like an ass because they turn out to be sincere and you’re the sarcastic Aussie with a bad attitude. This phenomenon has screwed me over time and time again both in the US and at home and this time during an interview with one of my favourite bands.
I had a chat with Victoria Legrand, the inspired individual behind one half of the whimsical sounds of Beach House (the other half being band mate Alex Scally) and from the get go I thought, “this chick is TOO nice. She hates me. I can tell.” But by the end of the chat it turned out that I’m just an ass and she’s pretty awesome. She loves what she does, hence her enthusiasm. To her it’s more than a job. “It is an experience - it’s doing it a disservice by calling it [a job]. It’s an amazing, priceless kind of a career.”
Victoria exudes a confidence that is more than likely sustain by her intelligence and yet her politeness creates an air of modesty that I can’t help but envy. She speaks like a poet, reinforcing to me that her lyrics aren’t forced but the consequence of a woman in love with words and ideas that are translated into the eerily haunting music that is Beach House. She is grateful for her life, showing appreciation for her busy schedule, and even though she admits that life is never perfect, she manages to see the positive in everything she does. “I don’t think I could have predicted that this could have become my life; I tour, I write, I meet people and see strangers all the time. I live in this ever moving stratosphere.”
I always wondered how artists pour their soul into songs and pass it out into the world to have it critiqued, altered or just conceived differently to its’ original intention. It’s like writing in your diary and sending it off to the publishers, but Legrand doesn’t see it that way. “It’s our music, but it’s not really mine anymore. Once an album comes out its not really up to me what it means anymore” she says. And with such expressively emotive songs, it’s fair to say that each individual will feel something different upon listening to Beach House’s tunes.
They are definitely a band that’s worth seeing live, not so much for a spectacle, but more so to experience the androgynously alluring voice of Legrand and dream pop at its finest. Beach House will be in Australia in early February for Laneway Festival but I’d recommend seeing their set in its extended version if you’re not too poor.