In today's world of status updates, fake news, and follower counts, it's easy to blur the boundaries of truth and illusion. We draw battle lines in the digital sand, but it's our relationship with ourselves that often takes the hardest hits.
"Whether it's reading the news or being on Facebook and getting that angry feeling like, I can't believe this person said this, that's all tactical," Beach House singer Victoria Legrand says. "It's meant to make humans upset so that we basically destroy each other, become paralyzed, and can't do anything. It's an actual pull that feels terrible, and when you put it away and read a book, go for a walk, make something, or have an actual human interaction... that is what makes you feel like, OK, I can breathe again. I'm here on Earth, and my head's not going to pop off."
For Legrand, there is
"At the end of the day, art and music, it's so vital," she continues. "Whether you're making it or you're the person who's absorbing it... I think it's a fundamental part of how we deal with all of the chaos and darkness and loss of hope."
Legrand and her partner Alex Scally will put that theory into motion when they headline III Points Friday, February 15. The Baltimore-based band is renowned for conjuring an ethereal, almost magical intimacy with fans through recorded and live performances. It's a majestic sense of melancholic pleasure that should fit nicely into the Wynwood festival's bewitching mystique.
The performance comes not quite a year after the duo's seventh studio album, 2018's aptly titled 7. Its 11 tracks funnel many of our modern world's political, social, and technological frustrations through a warm filter of fuzzy synths, reverb guitar, and wistful vocals. It's a gritty and powerful package that rolls smoothly despite being the band's heaviest album to date.
Legrand says 7 was a practice in removing limitations, and the resulting live show takes the Beach House performance to new heights — but don't expect a by-the-numbers experience. The band prides itself on presenting a completely unique set of songs every time it takes the stage, and no two song performances are ever alike.
"We don't let things become stale, because then it affects your outlook, and you can't be like that," Legrand says. "You are an entertainer, and you can't treat your audience like they're all the same. There are different people. People travel from all over the place, and especially at festivals... It's a very humbling profession in a lot of ways. I know some people would say, 'No way — it makes you have a big head,' but I think it puts you in your place a little bit. You realize people are coming to see you. It's a wonderful responsibility."
Beach House is joined by additional musicians onstage to bring each velvety layer of sound to life. It's an arresting and emotional experience, just as much so for the audience as it is the artists. For Legrand, the act of performing is a blissful addiction.
"After about 50 shows, you just know all the [new material] in your body and your fingers in this way that you don't [know] when you start. It gets ingrained in your physical muscle memory," she says. "We've truly grown into our music. It's just something that's part of our bodies."
Though Beach House's tour in support of 7 has officially concluded, III Points is one of many live performances the bandmates will undertake this year. They're inspired to continue the writing process too, always at work on something or wrapped in the anticipatory energy of being on the precipice of creation.
"I think that's all life is, always in between two phases," Legrand says. "In this day and age, be kind to your fellow man, work on something, and pay attention. A great deal can come out of simplicity... You're living in a world [where] everything looks like a toilet and feels like a toilet — there's shit flying everywhere. You have to be smart, be kind, and be awake, but also do the work. Discipline is important.
"For me personally, in order to provide peace for someone else, you have to have some sort of internal peace," she continues. "Working does that. It brings value and purpose to a person's life. There are a lot of battles going on these days. People are battling with their own anxieties. Technology is making everyone more anxious than ever — not just technology but the side effects of it... There are aftershocks I think we're all dealing with, addictions and things like that. It's getting harder to balance, [but] work, music, and art balances us. It gives us a purpose."
Beach House. Friday, February 15, at III Points, Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets start at $80 via iiipoints.com.