Articles tagged with Deerhunter

That Christmas Eve they had it in for me

Just resting my eyes
Woah. It’s only three days until Christmas and I still haven’t posted any holiday tunes. Here’s a song to make up for that. It comes from Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox, who released the track “Artificial Snow” under his Atlas Sound moniker.

The song comes in five different versions, all of which can be downloaded here. Below, you can check out my favourite, “Artificial Snow (Notown Version).” The other versions are cool, but this one sounds like the way it was meant to be heard (fittingly, it’s track one on the five-song collection).

Hopefully this one doesn’t get taken down by Sony. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Exclaim! has the answers.

MP3: “Artificial Snow (Notown Version)”
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Atlas Sound @ the Biltmore Cabaret, 10/30/09

Atlas Sound
Last night, Bradford Cox played an unaccompanied acoustic set at the Biltmore under his solo moniker Atlas Sound. The following quotes from Cox should give you a pretty good idea of how it went:

“I’m going to stand up, and maybe you guys can shut up.”

“You know what it’s like, playing in a concert in a grocery store…in the frozen section.”

“Am I a dick?”

“There’s been about 45 minutes of [music] that you’ve just fucking ruined.”

“This is a little awkward for me because, like I said, I’m short a band tonight. But I like making things happen.”

“Can I get less of the audience in my monitor?”

“Imagine working in a mall and being covered in fucking vomit. It seems real fucking pointless.”


“Your loud-ass fucking chatter is drowning me out.”


“I don’t come to your work…I’ve been banned from 7-11.”

“Justice is coming for you, you fucking cunts.”

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Bradford Cox keeps things simple (well, kind of)

Atlas Sound - Logos
Prior to the release of Logos, Bradford Cox promised that his second album under the Atlas Sound moniker would be more stripped down than last year’s Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel. He even compared the new collection to a live album, saying that many of the songs were first takes. Of course, when it comes to an artist like Cox, such descriptions are all relative.

Yes, Logos is more stripped down than its predecessor, but it’s hardly your typical live-off-the-floor singer-songwriter project. The majority of the songs are based on acoustic guitar, but these basic parts are doubled, harmonized, and overlayed with percussion and squelching synths. On opener “The Light That Failed,” layers of guitar pluck a simple riff while swirls of ambience set the mood for Cox’s soft vocals, which fall somewhere in between a whisper and a croak. “Shelia” follows a similar blueprint, although it’s much more catchy and upbeat, the slow-burning middle section giving way to an unabashedly romantic coda of “We’ll die alone together.”

As good as these songs are, the two best tracks on Logos are the ones that sound nothing like anything else on the album. Panda Bear makes an appearance on “Walkabout,” which borrows a sample from ’60s pop band the Dovers and ends up sounding a heck of a lot like something that could have been on Person Pitch. Meanwhile, Stereolab‘s Laetitia Sandler contributes vocals to “Quick Canal,” an eerie, nine-minute electro vamp that’s nothing short of revelatory.

The album ends in abrupt, unsatisfying fashion with “Logos,” a pleasantly chugging groove that suddenly fades out in the middle of a verse. It a strange rebuff to end an otherwise warm, comforting album, yet somehow it works perfectly, making you want to press repeat in search of a more gratifying catharsis. With Logos, Bradford Cox has brought his solo material on par with his work with Deerhunter. And with a prolific musician like Cox, more is bound to be just around the corner.
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Deerhunter & Black Lips @ the Commodore Ballroom, 7/23/09

Deerhunter and the Black Lips
It’s the week of “big indie” here in Vancouver. Two nights ago, I caught the Decemberists‘ full-length run-through of The Hazards of Love at the Vogue. I reviewed the show for Guttersnipe, so I won’t bother to write a full review here, but the band was predictably awesome, especially guest singers Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond) and Shara Worden (of My Brightest Diamond).

Last night, Deerhunter and Black Lips co-headlined a show at the Commodore Ballroom. Deerhunter went on first, playing an array of songs from its back catalogue, drawing most heavily on last year’s Microcastle. Unlike the ambient drones that feature so prominently on their studio albums, Bradford Cox & co. downplayed their experimentalism in favour of stomping, bass-heavy takes on “Cryptograms” and “Never Stops,” whipping the crowd into a frenzy of moshing, crowd surfing and stage diving.

The energy level was upped even further when the band tore through a fuzzy version of “Nothing Ever Happened,” its epic instrumental passages punctuated by Cox’s squealing feedback solos. The set highlight came during “Saved by Old Times,” featuring an unhinged vocal cameo from Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander.

As rowdy as Deerhunter’s performance was, Black Lips’ set was full-blown mayhem. I wasn’t keeping a tally, but the group must have played well over 20 songs, each of them a concise blast of southern-fried punk mayhem (as well as a foray into doo wop with the single “I’ll Be with You”). No song passed without several attendees climbing up on stage to crowd surf; security kept its distance, and the band didn’t seem to mind sharing the spotlight with its fans. Unfortunately, a few crowd members exploited Black Lips’ generosity, and at one point, four fans milled around of stage for several awkward minutes. Two of them, apparently meeting for the first time, began dirty dancing until another concert-goer climbed on stage and mercifully dragged them off. Later, a burly fan (who looked for all the world like Sully Erna of Godsmack) grabbed Jared Swilley’s microphone and began screaming until it was physically wrested from him by a roadie.

As the set went on, bouncers poured water bottles into the dangerously jam-packed audience. This added to the barrage of bottles and glasses being thrown around the room; just as the band was starting, I got nailed in the head with a half-full water bottle. The music itself wasn’t as memorable as Deerhunter, but it was easily the most chaotic I’ve ever seen the audience get in the Commodore Ballroom.

Local blues rock the TVees opened the show with a fun, if overly anachronistic set of punchy retro throwbacks. Dressed in dapper suits and ties, the group’s blues punk rave-ups evoked ’60s garage rockers like the Sonics and MC5. It was enjoyable enough, but it would be nice to hear a little more personality in the band’s retread of such an oft-imitated style.
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Your summer jam has arrived

Atlas Sound began as Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s home recorded solo project, but, after just one album, it’s already evolved into something more. This fall, Atlas Sound will release Logos, an unfinished version of which leaked onto the internet in 2008. The final product opts for more a full band sound than last year’s Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel and features guest appearances from some of Cox’s musically-inclined friends.

“Walkabout” is a collaboration with Panda Bear, and is based around a sample of the Dovers‘ 1966 song “What Am I Going to Do?” Accompanied by subtle electronic percussion and a Brian Wilson-aping vocal line, the tune sounds closer to Panda’s previous work than Cox’s—it could have easily been slotted into 2007′s Person Pitch without seeming out of place. The catchy verses are broken up by ambient washes of blissed-out synth, meaning the song sounds a bit like a four-minute distillation of everything that makes Panda Bear and Atlas Sound so captivating.

Logos doesn’t come out until October 21, but it’s easy to see why Cox chose to release this song early, as its sunny vibe is ideally suited to beach parties and backyard barbecues. What a fucking jam.

Download or stream the song over at The FADER.
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