Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Legrand’

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The Baltimore duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally had established themselves as effortlessly sublime dream-pop adepts by the time of their third album, but they hadn’t yet embraced the production values that might convince people who weren’t reading mp3 blogs. Teen Dream, Beach House’s Sub Pop debut, was the sound of a band going for broke at that exciting moment before they know what they’re really capable of achieving. Recording in a converted church with producer/engineer Chris Coady, whose credits span Amen Dunes to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the pair demonstrated a rare balance of preaching to the choir and pulling in new converts. The spidery guitar lines, dimly lit organ tones, and sparse drum machines remain.

But there’s also much more attempted: crystalline Fleetwood Mac–style harmonies, shoegaze-teetering crescendos, even kitchen-sink piano balladry. Each of the 10 songs could’ve been a single, and the physical edition’s accompanying DVD offers pleasantly warped videos for all of them. It was still dream pop, all right, right down to the “Twin Peaks”-echoing lyrical hook of the bleakly glamorous “Silver Soul.” But it was dream pop that could entice Jay-Z and Beyoncé out to a gig. Beach House have a well-earned reputation for not changing much, but on Teen Dream, they came into their own, and ushered the languid reveries of Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, and Cocteau Twins into the current Instagram decade.

Beach House’s bleary-eyed dream pop is a soothing after-sun for the mind. The cymbals crash like waves on a deserted beach in late-summer, when the shadows are longer, the air is cooler and the carefree excitement of the previous months is replaced with a sedated satisfaction. Victoria Legrand’s contralto voice feels more shadowy than anything peak season would have allowed, whilst Alex Scally provides the flickers of brilliance that keep the whole record warm and alight, like a campfire under the starry skies.


If listening to Beach House’s Teen Dream felt like throwing open the shades and letting light into a dusty sunroom, Bloom revisited that same space at twilight, still opulent and opaque but with new scope. Alex Scally’s sparkling guitar leads and Victoria Legrand’s cyclone of a voice are instantly recognizable, but they’re distorted in mystery. Bloom is a seductive album that has little to do with romance or sexual gratification; its characters feel the tug of adventure, of sensations and phenomena they can’t quite describe.

And while Bloom boasts some of the most indelible melodies in Beach House’s discography—the twinkling “Lazuli,” the extended sigh of “Other People”—it’s most notable as a collection of remarkable sounds. “Myth” opens with that plonking bell, cracked like an egg after two stiff shakes; the drums on “Wild” foam and splash like the ocean around your ankles; “The Hours” clocks you with that sneering riff, a slow-motion punk moment. These little moments may not sound like much, but they end up feeling like dashes of spice added to a favourite home-cooked meal. There’s something unexpected lurking in every familiar bite.

Bloom is presented as an album which transcends the boundaries of genre, taste or subjectivity. It is described as a work of religious mission, opening the eyes of any who venture into it. But I’m indifferent to the quality of the music . Many claim that no indie or mainstream music released by the turn of the decade a few months ago was left untouched musically by Bloom’s dream pop, which epitomizes the sound of Beach House it’s synth arpeggios, fuzzy yet discreetly mixed guitars and ethereal, psychedelic vocals layered upon dreamy atmospheric sounds.

Dream pop is not just a genre. It’s an all-encompassing description: Bloom truly sounds like a dream feels. The duo behind the album created a psychedelic, half-conscious atmosphere shoegazed (a production style which tries to merge and effect the instruments until the different instruments on a mix are almost indistinguishable) to the point that the texture feels barely there, and yet impenetrable as a solid wall of sound; an enormous, slow moving, audible cloud. Unusually, the album benefits from each song sounding similar enough that each track fades into another seamlessly, which only adds to the unavoidable dream comparison: as a dream is an ambiguous, surreal montage of faded events and ideas, as is Bloom.

The influence of this album is hard to deny. Just a few tracks in, the poppy, synth arpeggios which are ever present. Then the ethereal, contralto female vocals, The trippy, heavily reverberated instrumentation and vocals the jangly guitars on Wherever You Go.

On the other hand, there are certainly arguments suggesting that the influence of Bloom has been exaggerated. The album cover for Bloomits prime visual representation, is instantly evocative of that of the self-titled album by The XX, released in 2009, or Turn on the Bright Lightsby Interpol, released 2002.

So, did Beach House simply steal their sound and aesthetic? Of course not. For the most part, Beach House reinvented dream pop for a new generation, with adding a new, even more ethereal touch which has placed its hand on every indie pop or rock record released since. Late 2000s psych-pop may belong in the same category of music as Bloom,but it’s no coincidence that Beach House are immediately distinct from their contemporaries, no matter the similarities.

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Last August  in, 2018, Beach House performed a stunning, career-spanning set at Brooklyn’s historic Kings Theatre. It’s an immersive concert film from the evening. Performing music from their latest album 7 and stretching back through 2008’s DevotionVictoria Legrand and Alex Scally brought their moody and mysterious dream pop to life, backed by state-of-the-art visuals, in a venue as grand and majestic as their music. The film is a close visual journey from one of the decade’s defining indie bands.

As usual, Victoria Legrand, Alex Scally and the rest of their band played mostly in silhouette against dramatic lighting and projected visuals.  The band also played a set the previous night at United Palace in New York City.

The Setlists between the two NYC shows only varied by one song: United Palace got “Pay No Mind” from 7 while Kings Theatre got that album’s “Woo”, in addition to six other new ones including “Lemon Glow,” “Drunk in L.A.” and “Wild.” Their sets included older favorites like “Lazuli,” “Myth” and “Silver Soul.” Opening both shows were old friends and onetime Sub Pop labelmates Papercuts,

Beach House have announced new set of tour dates for the United States and Canada this August. Lets hope they will come to the UK later this year.

Beach House perform live at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on August 23rd, 2018.

Setlist: 0:25 Levitation 6:06 Wild 10:49 Dark Spring 14:20 The Traveller 18:31 L’Inconnue 23:16 Lazuli 28:05 Drunk in LA 32:10 Myth 36:29 Elegy to the Void 42:54 Woo 47:19 Space Song 53:32 Wishes 58:15 Girl of the Year 1:02:13 Sparks 1:07:39 Lemon Glow 1:12:17 Home Again 1:16:50 Walk in the Park 1:22:19 Dive

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Beach House, 7

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully of Beach House described a new kind of freedom in the making of their seventh album. It seems they felt an unwelcome pressure writing and recording in the past, whether that was the constraints of a set studio schedule, or concerns with how their experimentation would translate live. With some adjustments to the creative process, the duo were more liberated this time and the results are stellar. That’s not to suggest they re-invented their sound along the way; in fact, they have stayed true to their particular brand of dream-pop, but you can hear confident strides toward mastering their craft.

As a music fan reared on ’90s-era British indie-rock (Cocteau Twins, Ride, My Bloody Valentine), Beach House have always had an immediate gravitational pull. Peter Kember from Spacemen 3, central to that era in the U.K., took a turn producing this album, and you can hear his fingerprints all over it. “Dive” is a good example, as the song builds from a drone-like church organ to a hard-charging anthem. The dynamics and range of feeling throughout this album are really special: intimate one moment and rolling thunder the next. It’s also a great album listen, which has become something of a lost art in these days of algorithms and streaming playlists. 

Over the past decade, Beach House has become synonymous with dream-pop. The duo has consistently written gorgeous music with a hypnotic, almost otherworldly quality that often defies conventional expectation and revels in risk-taking. But by definition, its sound has typically been a little more dream than pop. Album number seven for the Baltimore-based group flips that relationship, but only ever so slightly. And the result is perhaps the band’s finest recording to date. 7 is indeed a cover-to-cover listen. When consumed in one sitting, the record’s 11 songs will reward the complex palates of longtime fans. But Beach House have also created some truly great standalone tracks here. Songs like “Lemon Glow,” “Dark Spring” and “Dive” standout with their less-than-subtle hooks and a surprising drive. And this being Beach House, they get better with each listen.

You can either fear the unknown, or you can embrace it. Beach House has spent the last 13 years worshipping it, each new song and album a dance of devotion to an unnamable, immutable creative force. After following it down to its most elliptical and interior on 2015’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, where else was there for Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally to go but outward? 7, the dream-pop duo’s most collaborative and extroverted album yet, springs forth with an urgent and unpredictable energy. It plunges you into dense, interstellar shoegaze (“Dark Spring”), then grounds you in stargazing grunge balladry (“Pay No Mind”), before sending you on a mechanical 808 track through the woozy “candy-colored misery” of “Lemon Glow.” And those are just the first three songs. Breaking from a long partnership with producer Chris Coady, Legrand and Scally began assembling 7’s immersive arrangements in a new home studio before finishing them off with space-rock experimentalist Sonic Boom, a.k.a. Peter Kember of Spacemen 3. The shake-up paid off spectacularly. Together they’ve crafted a towering psych record that plays like a radio response to otherworld transmissions like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End In TearsYou can try to drift off in its dark, dreamlike textures, but like those seminal albums, 7 will keep prodding you to witness its mysteries up close. It will keep asking you to search its layers, to savor each image flying by—to give yourself over to the moment. And by now Beach House has well-proven that, whatever the next moment holds, they’ll see you through it. This is a band you can trust with your life.

This Pay No Mind video is directed by our friend Michael Hirsch. We’ve been lucky to have friends join us on the road over the years. They’ve helped us stay sane through all the hard touring. Mike recorded this footage between 2015-2018, and it documents many live performances over that time. We like how it focuses on the audience, as they are the whole reason we go on tour. We also like that it shows some of the scuzzy reality of tour

Watch the Peaceful Video for Beach House's "Pay No Mind"

Beach House  have released a further music video for “Pay No Mind,” from their latest album 7. The video was directed by Michael Hirsch, and is made up of touring footage from 2015-2018. “We’ve been lucky to have friends join us on the road over the years,” the band said in a statement. “They’ve helped us stay sane through all the hard touring.”

“Pay No Mind” is perhaps the most romantic song off 7. Its gentle, lethargic chords feel like a prom-night waltz at the bottom of the sea, Victoria Legrand’s vocals shining down like fractal pillars of light. The video finds the small serenities in the chaos of touring—from the murmuring excitement of the crowd to the bliss of performance and the road the next day, the video finds solace in repetition.

Watch “Pay No Mind” below and check out the earler video and 7 standout track “Drunk in LA.” The video was directed by album co-producer Sonic Boom, who also remixed Beach House’s “Black Car.”

The video is the third from 7, following “Dark Spring” and “Black Car.” It features wobbly, watery animation of everything from liquid horses to fractal treetops, to a blacklight-infused stage play set.

The band said the idea came from Sonic Boom, aka Pete Kemper, while they were all out together at dinner and he “mentioned an idea for a video where the viewer is always looking up from the ground.” After complimenting him on the dreamlike nature of the video, “he wrote that it was essentially just a day in his life.”

Beach House  just wrapped a sold-out North American tour, and will be embarking on a European tour this fall.

Watch the video for “Drunk in LA”

Listen to Beach House's New Song "Alien"

Beach House  have shared a new song, “Alien,” along with an accompanying music video. The track is a b-side off the band’s new seven-inch single featuring “Lose Your Smile,” off their latest album 7.

This recently announced and ready for shipping is a 7″ from the beloved group Beach House. These two songs appear on slime green vinyl and the B side is an unreleased song. For Beach House junkies like myself, I’ll need this in my collection. Get yours. A limited edition 7 inch that was originally sold on their European tour. Side A is “Lose Your Smile” from the album 7. Side B is a new song called “Alien”.

“Alien” is proof that Beach House can dip their toes into just about any genre they want and come out with their dreamy melodies intact—in this case, they don the guise of shoegaze. At times, it sounds remarkably like My Bloody Valentine’s landmark Loveless, and it works incredibly well. The spacey wanderlust of Beach House has always seemed to be in the same neighborhood as the dreamscapes of shoegaze, especially Victoria Legrand’s vocals, which so often manage to be both background and foreground.

Beach House - 7

Unlike any of the Beach House previous albums, 7 has no producer in the traditional sense. Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (aka Peter Kember) was said to be a driving force behind the album, making sure it was protected against studio over-production and over-development. What we get is a more organic sound from the pop duo, highlighted by single “Dive,” which begins with a bright organ leading into Victoria Legrand’s soft vocals, slowly building into a dynamic climax that picks up with propulsive electric guitars.

7 is the 7th full-length record from Beach House. It marks the start of a new chapter for the band, who’ve been together for over 13 years and had most recently released an album of b-sides and rarities which they they described as “…a good step for us. It helped us clean the creative closet, put the past to bed, and start anew.”

The new album, 7, is about rebirth and rejuvenation for the group, allowing them the opportunity to rethink old methods in the writing and recording processes and shed some self-imposed limitations. They’ve delivered a truly remarkable work of art in this new album and we can’t wait for you all to experience it for yourselves.

The dream pop duo Beach House have released a new video for the song “Dark Spring” another  track taken off their 7th album 7, which is set to be released via Sub Pop Records on May 11th. The video, directed by Zia Anger is shot in stark black and white, with many of its shots and edits recalling classic film noir movies.

Musically speaking the song is a more uptempo affair, riding a bubbling synth line and an urgent drum pattern. As usual, the icy vocals of Victoria Legrand and the winding guitar work of Alex Scally take center stage, giving the song an epic sense of feel.

Beach House return with one of their finest records to date, loaded with infectious, immersive melodies… Few can create such dreamy, melancholic yet pop–tinged worlds, as this duo.”
Long Live Vinyl – 8/10

“While still unmistakably the work of Beach House, 7 is arguably their freshest sounding and texturally–rich set since 2010’s breakthrough Teen Dream.” London In Stereo

“More a subtle restyling than a full–on reincarnation, the soft–edged weightlessness, sumptuous tones and gauzy vocals still instantly recognisable on songs such as ‘Woo’ and the drop dead gorgeous ‘Dive’.” Uncut – 7/10

“Vast, hypnotic, beautiful… An exciting and essential album of 2018.” Louder Than War – 8/10

Beach House have become one of indie’s most dependable acts, and on 7 that continues… ‘Lemon Glow’ is a swirling cocktail of warped, wobbly synths while ‘Dive’ is another highlight, an intoxicating barrage of rollocking drums and guitar barging down the door.” DIY

Beach House are remarkably consistent, their woozy dream pop always finds a way to take up whichever space it inhabits.” Crack – 7/10

“Dive” is taken from 7, the new full length out May 11th, 2018.

Beach House will release 7, the group’s 7th full-length record, on 11th May 2018 via Bella Union Records in Europe and Sub Pop in the US. 7 features their latest offering, ‘Dive‘. All of the songs on 7 began in Beach House’s home studio in Baltimore, and were finished at Carriage House in Stamford, CT and Palmetto Studio in Los Angeles. The album was mixed by Alan Moulder.

Beach House (Alex Scally & Victoria Legrand) released B-sides and Rarities in 2017. Scally and Legrand used to limit themselves to what they thought they could perform live, but this time that limitation was ignored. Also, instead of one long studio session, Beach House recorded when inspired by batches of songs, which resulted in five mini-sessions over the course of eleven months.

Unlike the last four albums, 7 didn’t have a producer in the traditional sense. Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (Peter Kember) became a significant force on this record by shedding conventions and helping to keep the songs alive, fresh, and protected from the destructive elements of recording studio overproduction and over-perfection. The band’s trusted live drummer from 2016 to the present, James Barone, played on the entire record, helping to keep rhythm at the centre of a lot of these songs.

Beach House has also scheduled a worldwide tour in support of 7 beginning April 30th ending in October 20th in Dublin, IE at Vicar Street. The tour reaches the UK for the 2 dates so far in London and Manchester shows this Autumn:

Thursday 18th October – LONDON – Troxy ,  Friday 19th October – MANCHESTER – Albert Hall

Beach House - 7

Formed in 2004 when Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand—both of whom had just recently graduated college—found themselves in different bands in the Baltimore indie rock scene (Baltimore has spawned Dan Deacon, Ponytail, Future Islands and more). After playing together in a different band that siphoned off members, it eventually just became the two of them writing songs on an organ and a guitar. Eventually, they’d have a live drummer, but it’s remained Legrand and Scally since the beginning.

It’s hard to peg Beach House to a genre beyond that big nebulous “indie rock,” but after 15 years and seven releases, they are a genre unto themselves. Because they haven’t expanded their palette that much, the beauty of the Beach House catalog is tracking how they recontextualized their sound again and again, adding more drums, making the songs faster and shinier, and moving back again to their lo-fi sound. While their albums all sound similar, they all stand as unique entities. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and has been followed by Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010, Bloom in 2012, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars in 2015, and B-sides and Rarities in 2017.

Legrand’s vocals to 1980s psychedelic rock vocalist Kendra Smith of the band Opal. The group’s influences include This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, The Zombies, Brian Wilson, Françoise Hardy, Neil Young, Big Star,and Chris Bell.

Last week, Beach House dropped “Lemon Glow,” the lead single from their upcoming seventh album. It’s due out later this spring—no hard date has been announce yet—but this new single is a perfect appetite whetted. Build on a gauzy drum and organ figure, it’s cut with Legrand’s lush vocals and occasional searing blasts of guitar from Scally. Turn the lights down low, indeed. This vaulted to the top of our most anticipated album of 2018 list in four minutes and five seconds.

Beach House

Recorded in 2 days, Beach House’s debut LP is a lo-fi mirage, the scrappiest version of an album that can be described as so lush you could sleep on it. The album was the culmination of a couple years of experimentation and live shows. “Apple Orchard” is the song that ran through MP3 blogs, but for my money “House on the Hill” is the album’s centerpiece.

producing music composed largely of organ, programmed drums, and slide guitar. Of the origins of the band name, Scally said: “We’d been writing music, and we had all these songs, and then there was that moment where you say ‘what do we call ourselves?’ We tried to intellectualize it, and it didn’t work. There were different plant-names, Wisteria, that kind of thing. Stupid stuff. But, once we stopped trying, it just came out, it just happened. And it just seemed perfect.” In an interview with Pitchfork, Legrand addressed their two member status; “[I]t’s a way to challenge ourselves: What do you do when it’s just the two of you… [O]ne of the reasons this has been such a fulfilling experience for me is that with two people, it’s so much easier to achieve things that feel exciting and new.”

Released October 2006 through Carpark Records the band’s self-titled debut album, Beach House,

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Released 10 years ago on February 26th, 2008, Beach House’s second album Devotion marks the point where Beach House found their sound. Singer Victoria Legrand and her musical partner, guitarist and keyboardist Alex Scally, have traveled far since then. Later albums, like 2015’s gorgeous Depression Cherry, have made them one of the most beloved indie acts of their generation. But this one stands alone as a moment of discovery. It felt then and feels now like a glimpse of a private world. A secret worth treasuring.

It was received with similar acclaim and was included in Best Albums of 2008 list. On October 21, 2008, the group released the single “Used to Be”Beach House also recorded a cover of Queen’s “Play the Game” release of the Red Hot Organization’s 2009 compilation, Dark Was The Night.

In 2009, Legrand provided backing vocals on the song “Two Weeks” by the indie rock band Grizzly Bear. She later collaborated with the band again by providing vocals to “Slow Life”, the band’s contribution to the soundtrack for the film Twilight: New Moon.

Teen Dream

If Devotion is the album that put Beach House on every indie fan’s radar and represented the first appearance of the Beach House we know now, Teen Dream was the one that put them in the first two lines of festival lineups.

The duo’s “dynamic and intense” third album, was released on Sub Pop Records.  After touring Devotion for close to two years—and writing on the road, as “Norway” debuted during promotion of the album—the band worked with producer Chris Coady for the first time, and suddenly the shimmery, beautiful organ sounds became even more shimmery and beautiful. 

Teen Dream features the lynchpins of the Beach House live show, like “Zebra” and “Take Care.” . Teen Dream did little to alter Beach House’s core characteristics– slow-motion beats layered with hazy keyboard drones, rippling guitar figures, and Victoria Legrand’s melancholic melodies– but greatly amplified them to the point of redefining the band’s essence, from that of introverted knee-gazers into an assured, emotionally assertive force.  Legrand stated: “I see this as just another step in a direction. I would not want to say that 2010 will be our year, necessarily, I hope it’s just another year in which we do good work. I don’t want to be defined by this year, I want it to just be a beginning.

While Beach House have a reputation, in their music at least, of being pretty serious, anyone who’s been to a live show knows that they’re really funny and personable during the in-between song banter. They also sometimes cover songs you wouldn’t expect them to cover. Case-in-point: They played a sinister, amazing cover of Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade” at festival spots in 2010. My favorite part of this cover is that some media outlet (I can’t find this now, but if someone could help me out @ me) interviewed them at the time about “their new song about lemons” and they had to explain it was a Gucci Mane cover. It’s impossible to imagine someone interviewing Beach House in 2018 not knowing Gucci Mane.


Bloom shot Beach House to the stratosphere; it delivered on all the sonics of Teen Dream, and even debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard charts. Listening to this album is like riding a horse into an infinite vista, where you will meet everyone you’ve ever loved. Released on March 7th, 2012 the band streamed a new song, “Myth”, from their website. The album Bloom was released on May 15th, 2012 via Sub Pop Records. A second song from the album, “Lazuli”, was released. The band released a short film, Forever Still, The film, directed by the band and Max Goldman, was inspired by Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii and features the band performing songs from Bloom at various sites around Tornillo, Texas, where the album was recorded. The idea for the film came from the band’s desire to make quality promotional content they could control artistically: “We had previously been involved in too many live sessions, radio tapings, photo shoots, etc., where the outcome was far below our personal artistic standards.

We also felt a need to distance ourselves from the ‘content’ culture of the internet that rewards quantity over quality and shock over nuance.

Depression Cherry & Thank Your Lucky Stars

In August 2015, Beach House released their fifth LP, Depression Cherry which they promoted the usual ways, by doing tons of interviews, appearing on late night TV and releasing singles. It had a bunch of songs that felt of a piece with Bloom—the highlight being “Sparks.” A month after Depression Cherry came out, the band surprise dropped another album, Thank Your Lucky Stars, a darker, more lo-fi album—in some ways, it’s the spiritual sequel to Devotion—that they didn’t want to have fall into the “traditional” album cycle of promotion. As a set, the albums are a good encapsulation of everything Beach House had done leading up to 2015; the lo-fi, the widescreen and everything in between.

The album was released on August 28th via Sub Pop Records (on Bella Union in the UK)  and the band announced a world tour in support. Talking of the direction of the new album, the band said “In general, this record shows a return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role. With the growing success of Teen Dream and Bloom, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies. Here, we continue to let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.”.

B-Sides & Rarities

Compilations of B-sides and rarities are often either released at the end of a long career as a vault clearing, or as a way for a band to reset after a long creative period. In Beach House’s case, this release feels like the latter, a way for them to put a capstone on their last six albums, as they look forward to whatever is next. Like, maybe a new album in 2018. The fun highlights here are the remixes, because you don’t realize how malleable Beach House songs are until you hear them fussed up.

The compilation, B-Sides and Rarities, was eventually released on June 30th, 2017, and was supported by a new song, “Chariot”, which served as the lead single of the compilation and one of the two previously unreleased songs on it.

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Beach House have shared a brand new song, ‘Lemon Glow.’

The track will appear on their forthcoming new album which is set to land laters this spring: “Wishing everyone out there love tonight,” they wrote on Instagram while announcing the news. Jam-packed with synths, Lemon Glow is a glimpse into what to expect from their new album which will be their seventh studio full-length and the follower to the 2015 double-release of ‘Depression Cherry’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’.

Last year, they released a collection of unreleased music called B-Sides and Rarities.