Since their formation in Baltimore in 2004, Beach House’s sound has remained somewhat paradoxical. This musical contradiction defines their six full-length albums, which we’ve ranked in order of awesomeness below.

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, the duo that form the brilliant dream pop group, have manufactured a sound that is loose and ethereal, while remaining exceptionally controlled. They are a retro nod to Phil Spector, with a contemporary twin-sister vibe -- neither vintage nor entirely modern. The songs themselves feel simple and natural, but at the same time, they are multi-layered, complex and carefully formatted. Their approach is deliberately accidental -- spirited and sporadic but marvelously intentional, even calculated, in their production.

In between tours, the two continue to rehearse in a Baltimore warehouse they share with a small tie factory. Here, they play with organ sounds, record various samples onto looping pedals and load all of the above into a synthesizer, which helps create the melodic drone that underscores most of their songs. Their tracks maintain some form of definite melancholy or nostalgia while never failing to remain inarguably upbeat, entertaining the simple pleasure in that very sadness. When asked to describe the band’s trademark sound, Scally told Pitchfork he simply couldn’t find an accurate selection of adjectives because his descriptions were always “veering off into nonsense.” He is not wrong. At bottom, Beach House is a very particular, brilliantly orchestrated nod to nonsense.

It is not common to find a band that exclusively puts out albums that are notably better than their predecessors. Beach House is unique in their ability to remain remarkably loyal to the organized-chaos-driven sound they created back in 2004 while, without fail, continuing to put out records that are slightly tighter, more complex and more lyrical than the one before. Their musical history is characterized by the fact that throughout their discography, they have indisputably improved with each new record (where little improvement was needed to begin with).

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