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Harmonious sounds... with a discordant note

Beach House, Mandela Hall

By Chris Jones

Baltimore duo Beach House are an odd sort of band — universally respected for their chiming dream-pop and Victoria Legrand's lush vocals, but rarely adored.

So the Mandela was filled by Belfast's indie fraternity and a sense of duty — Beach House are here, we should probably go. The atmosphere suffered because of it.

You can't fault the sound that Legrand, guitarist Alex Scally and drummer Daniel Franz made.

It was a swelling, achingly beautiful confection built on warm keys, needling guitar lines and steady, rolling rhythms, topped off by that rich, smoky voice.

But suspicions that the band's songwriting has taken a step backwards on their latest album Bloom were confirmed by hearing new songs rub up against older ones.

After Myth came the encore, and it seemed even the band weren't sure whether they wanted to return. What followed was a slightly limp rendition of 10 Mile Stereo, punctuated by Legrand flipping her middle finger at someone near the front and the band stalking off. It was a strangely tense way to end an enjoyable, but hardly transcendent, show.

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