10 Sep 2010

My shoes require your gaze

Deerhunter. No, not the fantastic film, but the band, I discovered them about two years ago, but until recently I hadn't really given them the attention they deserve. Now I am hooked. Bradford Cox, the mastermind behind the band creates more than songs, he creates soundscapes, soundspheres, little planets bursting with sounds for your ears to explore.

Bradford Cox
The band is from Georgia and completely defies characterisation. But not in an "I would like to rip my eardrums out with pliers" kind of way, more of a "is that indie? is that shoegaze? is that noise?" kind of way. Deerhunter were quite obviously influenced by band like My Bloody Valentine, The Birthday Party (on the older records), Stereolab, Echo & the Bunnymen and Bowie, but the way they blend these together leave me astonished.

Their first album, with one of the most abrasive titles ever, "Turn it up faggot" sounds like a band trying to find its feet and struggling with its own demons. This anger and angst is what reminds me of Nick Cave's first band, The Birthday Party, and that aggression spills over halfway onto their second album, the phenomenal, Cryptograms.

The album comes at you like driving hail, attacking from all angles, but fear not, once "Providence" starts, it's all mellow, easy and hypnotic.  But in my opinion, while all of their stuff up to Cryptograms is fantastic, Microcastle is where Deerhunter really found their feet and Cox found his songwriting niche. 

A collection of mid tempo ballads, broken up with ambient magic, Microcastle is an indie work of art. The album leaked two months before its release date and that resulted in an entirely different story, for the geeks, here is the low down. Basically, the band then wanted to reward fans who waited for the album to be released by recording another album, Weird Era Cont. And I would just like to thank them for that. It's brilliant. In effect these two serve as one of the best double albums possibly ever.

So, if you want some rock/ambient/interestingly hypnotic music to spice up your life, Deerhunter is your band. Honestly, get Microcastle and Weird Era Cont. If you dig em and want more, find the rest, but those two should be your starting point. If you enjoy the weirder stuff, check out Cox's solo project, Atlas Sound. Equally as magical and fantastical, if more introspective than Deerhunter. 

Their new album is due for release on September 28 and I hope some of you will be listening to it with me. Halcyon Digest is bound to be brilliant, if the tracks I've heard are anything to judge by. 

"So long to the days you grow sad of, and if I try but found not much for you to hold, the more you hold, the more you feel alone and wait, till you can wait. So long to the days you come to know, so you had to get there on your own to wait to grow old, you're waiting to grow old." - Neither of Us, Uncertainly - Deerhunter.

And life my friends, is way too short to not have Deerhunter in it. Even if you don't like meat.


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