“It’s a strange paradise.”
Irene is nominally the final track on the Bloom album, and a climactic way to sort of end it. Victoria Legrand divulged this little nugget about the recording of Irene, and the Bloom album generally, in an interview with Filler Magazine:
In terms of sound, this record, as well as the last one, was recorded on two inch tape, I don’t know if you are into nerd information. I think it’s something important because it’s not just made on the computer. It’s always been an important thing for us. Whether it was four tracks, eight tracks, ultimately what we are working with is songs and sounds, and the way that they make you feel…and melodies. [There’s] a lot of traditional song craft that goes into what we do. There are a few moments on Bloom that I think are very special.
“Irene” is a live take, and it’s recorded on live take, and I think it was the first take. When you are working with tape, things take a lot longer because you do a whole take, and it’s not like when you are on a computer and you just cut and paste. It’s kind of old-fashioned, but it can be really rewarding in terms of just creating a moment for you where that just happened, and now it’s forever. …
Working with tape machines and intellect boards is a skill that is dying I think. It’s special and means something to us.
Live audio and video footage, as with three tracks preceding it, have come from Beach House’s short film, Forever Still, which was artfully directed for Pitchfork by Max Goldman. The studio version of Irene is equally enjoyable, aurally: