|DEERHUNTER — FADING FRONTIER (October 16th, 2015)
DEERHUNTER — FADING FRONTIER (October 16th, 2015)•≡≡• Ačkoli Cox trvá na tom, znovu a znovu opakujíc, že mystické texty v jeho písních mají velmi málo autobiografického obsahu, “Duplex Planet” zdá se, odkazuje na jeho rekonvalescenci po zranění po nehodě na konci roku 2014. The Deerhunter mastermind’s latest musical whims take the band into more straightforward pop territory — but there’s still a deep disquiet to it all.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Album release: October 16th, 2015
Record Label: 4AD
1. "All the Same" 3:05
2. "Living My Life" 3:49
3. "Breaker" 3:31
4. "Duplex Planet" 2:40
5. "Take Care" 4:12
6. "Leather and Wood" 5:55
7. "Snakeskin" 4:20
8. "Ad Astra" 5:32
9. "Carrion" 2:58
•≡≡• All songs written and composed by Bradford Cox, except Ad Astra by Lockett Pundt.
•≡≡• Bradford Cox — lead vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboards, electronics (2001–present)
•≡≡• Moses Archuleta — drums, percussion, electronics (2001–present)
•≡≡• Lockett Pundt — guitar, occasional lead vocals, keyboards (2005–present)
•≡≡• Josh McKay — bass guitar, organ (2013–present)
•≡≡• Tim Gane — electronic harpsichord (4)
•≡≡• James Cargill — synthesisers, tapes (5)
•≡≡• Zumi Rosow — treated alto saxophone (7)
•≡≡• ‘Fading Frontier’ is the seventh studio album by Deerhunter on 4AD. The record was made by founding members Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt and Moses Archuleta, and bassist Josh McKay. Written in their hometown of Atlanta, GA, production duties were shared by the band and Ben H. Allen III, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s 'Halcyon Digest'. Following the death–rattle garage catharsis of 2013’s 'Monomania', the group has shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album's production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band's most complex yet accessible work to date. Cox and Pundt share lead vocal duties (a first for the band) on the enthralling 'Breaker', while the darker 'Take Care' (featuring Broadcast’s James Cargill on synthesizers and tape manipulation) and 'Leather and Wood' — a strange hybrid of J.G. Ballard's dystopian grey–skied science fiction and the most Spartan Motown downer imaginable — paint a varied spectral landscape. Elsewhere, the likes of 'Snakeskin’ showcase a sinister flirtation with minimalist funk, whilst Pundt makes a typically masterful statement with the synth–diffused 'Ad Astra', which culminates in one of the album's most transcendent moments. 'Fading Frontier' shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art–rock of their generation.
ding Frontier, the highly anticipated new album by Deerhunter, is released worldwide today.
•≡≡• After sharing the video to new single 'Living My Life’ earlier this week, and riding on a wave of critical acclaim, Deerhunter’s new record is now available to buy on LP, CD, digitally and stream on all platforms.
•≡≡• Fading Frontier, Deerhunter’s seventh studio album, was written and recorded in the band’s hometown of Atlanta, GA, with production duties shared by the band and Ben H. Allen, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s acclaimed Halcyon Digest. Fading Frontier also features contributions from Broadcast’s James Cargill and Tim Gane from Stereolab. You can learn more about the record at the band's new interactive website, which features a concept map designed by Bradford Cox.
•≡≡• Following the death–rattle garage catharsis of Monomania, the group have shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album’s production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band’s most complex yet accessible work to date.
•≡≡• Cox and Pundt share lead vocal duties (a first for the band) on the enthralling ‘Breaker’, while the darker ‘Take Care’ (featuring Broadcast’s James Cargill on synthesizers and tape manipulation) and ‘Leather and Wood’ — a strange hybrid of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian grey–skied science fiction, and the most spartan Motown downer imaginable — paint a varied spectral landscape. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Snakeskin’ showcase a sinister flirtation with minimalist funk, whilst Pundt makes a typically masterful statement with the synth–diffused ‘Ad Astra’, which culminates in one of the album’s most transcendent moments.
•≡≡• Fading Frontier shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art–rock of their generation.
•≡≡• Alexis Petridis’s album of the week.
Thursday 15 October 2015 15.00 BST; Score:
•≡≡• His media persona is predicated on a certain gobby obnoxiousness, but it’s still hard not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Bradford Cox. In recent years, he has seemed incapable of making an album without being spurred by some personal tragedy. Deerhunter’s 2010 album Halcyon Digest and Cox’s 2011 album Parallax, under his Atlas Sound alias, were each inspired by the deaths of close friends — Memphis singer–songwriter Jay Reatard and Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. Cox was left so distraught by the latter’s passing that he attempted to contact her via automatic writing. Deerhunter’s 2013 album Monomania, meanwhile, detailed the aftermath of Cox apparently falling in love for the first time; he had previously described himself as asexual. He kept largely tight–lipped about the details, but judging by the album’s angsty squalls of noise and super–distorted garage rock, you did rather get the feeling that he and his amorata hadn’t parted on terribly good terms.
•≡≡• Its follow–up, Fading Frontier, was pre–empted by Cox being hit by a car last December.” Cox has long established himself as an unpredictable figure (he once responded to a heckler jokily shouting for the Knack’s My Sharona by playing My Sharona for an hour), and so it is with his musical response to being run over. An experience that left him with a broken pelvis and jaw, in “incredible pain” and on antidepressants, seems to have inspired Deerhunter’s most straightforward, uplifting, pop–infused album to date: nine songs dispatched in a crisp 36 minutes.
•≡≡• Should anyone wonder where Fading Frontier is coming from musically, Cox produced a map of influences on the album. Plenty of them seemed suitably left–field, befitting a record that features contributions from Stereolab’s Tim Gane and Trish Keenan’s former Broadcast partner, James Cargill: Ligeti, Pharoah Sanders, avant–garde Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro, electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. But it was the names on the right of the map that drew the most interest, including INXS, Tom Petty, Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair, and that defining sound of 80s stadium rock, the “gated reverb snare”.
•≡≡• While it’s often thick with glossy synthesisers — they shimmer on Duplex Planet, while Breaker is eventually completely submerged beneath them — Fading Frontier doesn’t sound much like any of those influences, although there may be a hint of the Heartbreakers about the chiming guitars of Take Care and All the Same, and Snakeskin could be Deerhunter’s warped attempt to channel the stadium–funk–rock spirit of INXS’s Suicide Blonde. While we’re in the business of qualifying statements, it’s perhaps worth noting that the adjective “uplifting” is relative: there are certainly more soaring melodies here than on Monomania, but they’re balanced out by more emotionally ambiguous lyrics. Its notion of happiness often seems to involve vanishing entirely. “I’m off the grid, I’m out of range,” Cox sings over a beatific drift of synths and guitar on Living My Life; the traditional American folk song I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground turns up twice. All the Same offers up an inspirational homily — “Take your handicaps, channel them and feed them back until they become your strengths” — but only after detailing a series of grim scenarios, among them agonising pain — “no comfort except for air” — and a gender reassignment with disastrous consequences. On the closing track, meanwhile, it’s difficult to tell whether Cox is singing “carry on” or “carrion”, whether he’s talking about optimistically forging ahead or picking glumly at the bones of a corpse.
•≡≡• But these are complexities you don’t notice for a while, so smoothly does Fading Frontier go about its business; only Leather and Wood, with its crawling tempo, discordant piano and flickers of agitated electronics, allows the lyrical disquiet to seep into the music itself. Its six minutes jar against the songs around it — a flow of beautifully wrought tunes and confident, sunlit arrangements. Indeed, there are so many straightforwardly commercial–sounding songs here that Fading Frontier could conceivably be an album that turns Deerhunter from cult concern into mainstream success.
•≡≡• That would be a welcome turn of events — the world could use more interesting mainstream rock stars, and whatever else you make of his lofty interview pronouncements and erratic behaviour, it’s hard to argue that Cox is boring. But even if it comes to pass, it’s probably not a state of affairs built to last. Monomania’s sudden lurch into noise established that Deerhunter were the kind of band who operate according to their frontman’s own internal logic; listeners were invited to either gratefully tag along with him or get lost. Fading Frontier’s diversion into something more direct seems just as whimsically driven. You wouldn’t bet on their next album sounding much like it. •≡≡• http://www.theguardian.com/
•≡≡• “Remarkable album, one that only grows more awesome with each listen.” — NME *****
•≡≡• “Certainly belongs in any discussion of their best.” — Spin (9/10)
•≡≡• “Thrilling.” — Uncut (9/10)
•≡≡• “Phenomenal.” — Under The Radar (9/10)
•≡≡• “Deerhunter’s most content, warm and plainspoken work to date.” — Pitchfork (8.4 — Best New Music)
•≡≡• “Takes the band into more straightforward pop territory — but there’s still a deep disquiet to it all.” — The Guardian ****
•≡≡• “Deerhunter’s most accessible songs yet are also their most affecting.” — MOJO ****
BY MARIA SCHURR, 13 October 2015; SCORE: 6
By Michael Cyrs, 15 October 2015; Score: 8
By SIMON CHANDLER; SCORE: ***½
BY JAMES RAINIS, OCTOBER 14, 2015; SCORE: ****
|DEERHUNTER — FADING FRONTIER (October 16th, 2015)