7 / 10
Baltimore may not be the first city you think of when someone mentions a band with influences like Spiritualized and early-’90s haze wafters Mazzy Star. However, the hard knocks town that provides the setting for brutal TV dramas like The Wire and Homicide shows its softer side, as Beach House’s Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand whip out their organs and other dream-pop weapons. The Alice In Wonderland fairground organ of the Maryland duo’s eponymous 2006 debut retains a trippy presence on second LP ‘Devotion’ — it seeps into most of the record’s 45 minutes with an osmosis-like vigour. Yet, the problem with sleepy pop is that it can make your eyelids seal; ‘Devotion’ becomes hypnotic – even vaguely sinister with its fairground dips and dives. Legrand’s nebulous vocals may have the effect of casino music at times, but we’re reeled into a settling autumnal haze.
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