Mu­sic by Beach House and Pat Metheny

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De­pres­sion Cherry

(Sub Pop) Bal­ti­more dream­pop duo Beach House in­vented a for­mula for song­writ­ing that they’ve ap­par­ently found to be so lu­cra­tive they only stray from it in mi­nor de­grees. They start with just a few sounds that twin­kle like stars — a sus­tained or­gan, some key­board notes, a pro­grammed drum­beat — with Vic­to­ria Legrand’s voice hov­er­ing about, in an or­bit by it­self. By the sec­ond verse, the view typ­i­cally opens up, as if go­ing from stars to a full con­stel­la­tion. It’s al­most like a magic trick; they ac­com­plish this with­out bom­bast, by sim­ply lay­er­ing sounds. The tempo never breaks a sweat, and the lyrics are wist­fully vague when they are fully co­her­ent, yet it sounds truly epic — when it doesn’t sound like lul­la­bies or Christ­mas mu­sic. The mu­si­cians have treated their ca­reers like their songs, slowly adding lay­ers to a sturdy bedrock. De­pres­sion Cherry finds them build­ing upon the suc­cess of their 2010 break­out Teen Dream and 2012’s Bloom. “Sparks” lets a muf­fled sam­ple and crunchy gui­tar waft in and out, drench­ing every­thing in so much re­verb that it sounds like in­die rock from a dis­tant planet. “Space Song,” how­ever, cen­ters on a clean-sound­ing cas­cade of notes. “Days of Candy” be­gins as a nearly a cap­pella choir be­fore deep (by their stan­dards) key­boards sput­ter into the mix. For mu­si­cians with a sound so med­i­ta­tive that it in­vites still­ness in lis­ten­ers, they’re more rest­less than they ap­pear. — Robert Ker

PAT METHENY Hom­mage à Eber­hard We­ber (ECM) This live al­bum was taken from two Stuttgart con­certs staged last Jan­uary to cel­e­brate the 75th birth­day of the pi­o­neer­ing Ger­man bassist Eber­hard We­ber, who hasn’t been able to play since suf­fer­ing a stroke in 2007. The opener, “Ré­sumé Vari­a­tions,” of­fers clar­ion so­prano-sax im­pro­vi­sa­tions by Jan Gar­barek, in whose band We­ber played for 25 years, with loops of We­ber’s bass from record­ings. Gui­tarist Pat Metheny, who first recorded with We­ber on Gary Bur­ton’s 1974 al­bum Ring, com­posed “Hom­mage,” the cen­ter­piece of the con­certs and of this al­bum. Here Metheny also in­cor­po­rates a vir­tual We­ber — his idea was “to find video el­e­ments of Eber­hard im­pro­vis­ing and then re­or­ga­nize, chop, mix and or­ches­trate el­e­ments of those per­for­mances to­gether into a new com­po­si­tion.” We­ber’s strong, fleet-fin­gered bass lines are sur­rounded by, and in­ter­wo­ven with, live mu­sic from Metheny, Bur­ton (vibes), Scott Col­ley (bass), Danny Got­tlieb (drums), Klaus Graf (alto sax), Ernst Hut­ter (eu­pho­nium) — and the SWR Big Band. The half-hour-plus piece is a fas­ci­nat­ing au­ral ex­pe­ri­ence, some­times softly lux­u­ri­ant, some­times dra­matic and in­tense. Some of the We­ber tunes for the trib­ute con­certs were se­lected by com­poser/band­leader Michael Gibbs; he ar­ranged one of the com­po­si­tions, “Mau­r­iz­ius,” for the big band and con­ducted the per­for­mance; it holds lovely so­los by Bur­ton and by Paul McCand­less on English horn. This is an un­usual al­bum full of glo­ri­ous mu­sic. — Paul Wei­de­man

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