I've never thought of this duo from Baltimore as a singles band. Their dreamy pop songs function best as part of full length albums where they can stretch out and take things at a gentle, unhurried pace.
Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have made six LPs to date and, as it turns out, most of the 14 songs collected here are not B-sides at all but primarily songs which didn’t find a place on these records.
As they clarify in a press statement to accompany the release : "Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial". In other words, making catchy chart-bound hits has never been on their agenda.
The compilation begins with Chariot a gorgeous melody with laconic vocals. It sounds like Cowboy Junkies on a date with Low and is one of two previously unreleased songs from the Depression Cherry/Thank Your Lucky Stars sessions, the other being Baseball Diamond.
Rain In Numbers is the oldest song. It was recorded in 2005 and appeared as secret song on their self-titled debut. This rough cut shows just how skilfully they have refined and perfected their sound over the years.
I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun is a cleaned up recording of a song made during a break between tours and first released in un-mastered form on the internet for free.
Used To Be, Norway and 10 Mile Stereo are all tracks from 2010's Teen Dream but appear here in different versions. Norway has a new bridge while 10 Mile Stereo is a slowed down 'Cough Syrup Remix'.
Used To Be came out a 2008 single and was recorded in the same session as Play The Game, a Queen cover, no less, that they made for a charity compilation benefiting AIDS research.
Not surprisingly, the record doesn't have the smooth, flowing quality that makes their albums so special but it's still a surprisingly coherent and a welcome addition to their discography.
Think of it as a bit of late Spring cleaning at the beach house that conveniently makes for an early Summer treat.
Beach House's website