Artists of the week: Deerhunter
Deerhunter (2001) is an American indie rock group formed by singer songwriter duo Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt (voice and guitars), Moses Archuleta (drums and keyboards), Frankie Broyles (guitar) and Josh McKay (bass). Though the band describes their sound as “ambient punk”, they incorporate a large range of genres, including noise rock, shoegaze and post punk in an aggressive mix of industrial guitars and broken dance rhythms.
After a furious and half-baked debut, 2005’s Turn It Up Faggot, the arrival of Lockett Pundt started a series of highly praised and experimental records: 2007’s Cryptograms and 2008’s Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. combo. At the same time Deerhunter was becoming one of the most charismatic indie rock bands of the millennium, the side projects of the always prolific Bradford Cox (Atlas Sound) and Lockett Pundt (Lotus Plaza) had probably something to do with the more accessible sound of their fourth and most successful record to date: 2010’s Halcyon Digest. In 2013, this pop-oriented direction takes, nevertheless, a left turn with Monomania, a Cox’s signature album that seems to invocate REM’s Monster distortion for a loose demo of surf-rock, blues and mutant folk brainstorming that is both challenging and close to the bone.
Fading Frontier, their new, concise and extremely focused record, ditches the dark claustrophobia of their previous record for the kind of kaleidoscopic approach and precise experimentation that has made Deerhunter one of the most fascinating indie bands of the States and adds the most personal and accomplished lyrics ever written by Bradford Cox.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.