NEW MUSIC: Deerhunter – Snakeskin

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 6.06.14 pmBradford Cox and Deerhunter return with a brand new track – ‘Snakeskin’ – ahead of their new LP Fading Frontier which will be released on October 16th via 4AD/Remote Control. I’m loving the upbeat groove of this first single, fun and dark at the same time.

Fading Frontier

1. All The Same
2. Living My Life
3. Breaker
4. Duplex Planet
5. Take Care
6. Leather and Wood
7. Snakeskin
8. Ad Astra
9. Carrion

ALBUM REVIEW: Atlas Sound | Parallax

written by Chris Familton

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound has unfairly garnered a reputation as an eccentric, quirky individual and musician. Sure he jumps around stylistically, likes obtuse forms and shapes in his music and he can be a prickly interview subject but when you get into the music he is hardly charting new territories. His work with Deerhunter is decidedly indie rock while Atlas Sound is the vehicle for Cox’s solo work and a chance to explore introspection in a quieter environment.

Parallax finds Cox dedicating the album to Broadcast’s Trish Keenan and as such he imbues the record with some dark and dreamlike folk sounds. Many of the songs are built on simple repeating loops and drones with Cox using his voice to add colour to the music. Though there is the sonic theme of nocturnal imaginings (Cox even sings “when we go to sleep we’ll have the same dreams” on Te Amo) Parallax has a surprisingly clean and fresh sound. It isn’t submerged in lo-fi murkiness, the songs sparkle and sound light in the speakers. The title track and Terra Incognita are shimmering examples of the psych folk that Cox does so well before he turns to darker places like the dubbed out U2 sound of Modern Aquatic Nightsongs. Praying Man echoes the tripped out vibe of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile while the bubbling psychedelia of Doldrums reminds the listener that Cox’s experimental tendencies are never far from the surface.

The two highlights of the album are the super catchy Mona Lisa and the jangling shuffle of Angel Is Broken, both examples of how great a writer of pop hooks Cox can be when he sets his mind to it. Parallax isn’t necessarily a great album, more a case of a good album with a handful of great songs on it. It does show Cox carving out more of an identifiable niche for his music though and the resulting songs are becoming better and better.

this review was first published in The Drum Media

LIVE REVIEW: Deerhunter @ Metro, Sydney (08/02/11)

written by Chris Familton

Tiger Choir seemed to have most indie bases covered with a set that swung from Animal Collective electronic tribal yelps to super-melodic buzzed out guitar pop. A trio hailing from Tasmania, they initially came across like copyists of whatever is buzzing out the kids these days but as their set evolved there were some really nice moments of spiraling guitar melodies showing they have one foot in Sonic Youth’s shoes and the other in the aforementioned Animal Collective’s sandals. Potential in spades as they say.

Deerhunter stepped up to the Metro from two nights at the Annandale on their last visit. There they were magnificent and thankfully the larger room didn’t stop them being just as head spinning and physically moving. Opening with Cryptograms was a good move that pretty summed up the range of styles they can muster. The rolling bassline was all rubbery, leading the song before the washes of distortion and spaced out vocals took over. Having a great second vocalist always helps and Lockett Pundt nailed a superb dreamy chug in Desire Lines that looped round and round.

Halcyon Digest tracks featured heavily with the heavenly Helicopter hypnotizing with its woozy shimmer. Likewise, He Would Have Laughed drifted along causing many swinging heads in the crowd. One of the best moments from that album was Memory Boy with its bouncing 60s vibe and gushing hook and melodies. It showed Deerhunter are as much a pop band as any other label that gets thrown at them. Dipping into previous albums, Little Kids was aired, as was Agoraphobia.

There were some minor technical hiccups with bassist Josh Fauver fighting a battle with a dying amp but generally it was his loping bass style that kept things anchored down and preventing the songs from spiraling off into an ether of casual noise. The main focus of the music is unavoidably the gaunt and gangly Bradford Cox who threw the Sydney crowd a few compliments between songs and generally seemed to be the quiet leader of the band.

The encore consisted of one long track of dark gothic post punk that sprung to life eventually before   dissolving in a toxic sea of distortion at ear shattering levels – a wonderful conclusion to an evening of fascinating music both in terms of the songs and the accompanying sonics.

this review first appeared in Drum Media

ds…twenty five – our favourite releases of 2010

That’s it then, 2010 done and dusted and although it wasn’t the best year ever for new music there were some damn fine records released. This year we’re seeing an even more eclectic mix of flavours coming through from witch house, minimal electronica, americana, experimental and the all encompassing indie tag. Have a look at what we loved through the year, click on the covers for linked reviews and please leave comments and let us know your faves…

2010 has also been another stellar year for reissues, remasters and deluxe versions and honourable mentions must go to:

  • David Bowie | Station To Station
  • The Rolling Stones | Exile On Main Street
  • Iggy Pop & James Williamson | KIll City
  • Dexys Midnight Runners | Searching For The Lost Soul Rebels
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Welcome To The Pleasuredome
  • The Cure | Disintegration

25. Spoon | Transference

24. Liars | Sisterworld

23. Wavves | KIng Of The Beach

22. Surf City | Kudos

21. Simon Carter | The Black Book Of The Universe

20. Mount Kimbie | Crooks & Lovers

19. James Blake | Klavierwerke EP

18. Forest Swords | Dagger Paths EP

17. Jeremy Jay | Splash

16. Mark Moldre | The Waiting Room

15. Damien Jurado | Saint Bartlett

14. Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest

13. Gayngs | Relayted

12. Zola Jesus | Stridulum II

11. Wooden Shjips | Vol. 2

10. CocoRosie | Grey Oceans

9. Yeasayer | Odd Blood

8. The Black Keys | Brother

7. Tame Impala | Innerspeaker

6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti | Before Today

5. Best Coast | Crazy For You

4. Beach House | Teen Dream

3. Die! Die! Die! | Form

2. The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack

1. Arcade Fire | The Suburbs

ON TOUR: Deerhunter announce Laneway sideshows…

Deerhunter have announced two sideshows while they are ot in Australia touring for the hipster nation… These will sellout for sure with al the salivating press over their latest Halcyon Digest – including our glowing review

Tour Dates

  • Tuesday, February 8th | Metro Theatre Sydney – All Ages – Tix via metrotheatre.com.au
  • February 9th | Billboard Melbourne – Tix via moshtix.com.au

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29

Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest is out now on 4AD / Remote Control



NEWS: Laneway Festival 2011 line-up revealed…

Les Savy Fav

In our books Laneway is always the most interesting and anticipated Austalia/New Zealand festival of the year and 2011 looks as great as ever with today’s announcement…

  • Deerhunter
  • Yeasayer
  • Les Savy Fav
  • Beach House
  • Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
  • Blonde Redhead
  • Holy Fuck
  • !! (Chk Chk Chk)
  • The Antlers
  • Bear In Heaven
  • Cloud Control
  • Cut Copy
  • Violent Soho
  • Foals
  • Gotye
  • The Holidays
  • Jenny & Johnny
  • Warpaint
  • Local Natives
  • Menomena
  • Pvt
  • Rat Vs Possum (Excluding Perth)
  • Stornoway
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • World’s End Press

Tour Dates

Monday 31st January 2011 – Aotea Square, Auckland
Friday 4th February 2011 – Alexandria St off St Paul’s Terrace, Brisbane
Saturday 5th February 2011 – Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne
Sunday 6th February 2011 – Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
Friday 11th February 2011 – Fowler’s Live, North Terrace, Adelaide
Saturday 12th February 2011 – Cultural Centre, Northbridge, Perth

Tickets for the 2011 St Jerome’s Laneway Festival go on sale Wednesday 20th October at 9am.

REVIEW: DEERHUNTER @ The Annandale Hotel (20/06/09)

deeerhunter

Reviewed for FasterLouder – visit them, they’re great !!!

Tonight was a special evening for the Sydney indie crowd who had missed Deerhunter at the Manning Bar a week earlier, such was the hype and anticipation that has been built up around this tour. Tweets and bloggers have been foaming at the mouth over the the band’s visit and so for someone who hadn’t yet been wholly convinced by the band’s recorded material it was a good chance to see if Deerhunter measured up live.

Straight Arrows graced the stage first with their gleefully ramshackle garage punk n roll. With Circle Pit’s Angie on bass the boys played a typical breakneck set of lo-fi songs, mostly counted off with a 1,2,3,4 before they all collapsed into the music and proceeded to deconstruct themselves with fantastically sloppy solos and disheveled snotty vocals. It works wonderfully, mainly due to the obvious fun they have playing. Grins and adrenalin seem to be key ingredients to their sound and fans of Black Lips should make sure they catch Straight Arrows next time they are playing.

Traps were an interesting choice of support act in that they represent the cleaner guitar pop side of indie. Their songs are carefully written and arranged and there is a distinct British sound to them. Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Editors all raise their influential heads at different times and though they absorb and filter their idols extremely well there was a nagging sense that it was all too planned out. They perhaps suffered from following the rawness of Straight Arrows and not sounding too straight against the experimentalism of Deerhunter.

There is no denying Traps have some catchy and marketable melodic rock songs like The Calling Cure but the missing ingredient of an enigmatic personality and stage presence may hold them back from building a solid fanbase.

Atlanta’s Deerhunter have cleverly built up a reputation around themselves for intense live shows and devoted fans. This has stemmed from their diverse music and the outspoken, ‘heart on sleeve’ frontman Bradford Cox.

The Annandale was packed to the gills for their second Sydney show and Deerhunter were in a playful and chatty mood for the last night of their tour. They played a wide selection of songs from last years Microcastle and the earlier Cryptograms. Hearing the songs in the live setting was an ‘I’ve got it!’ moment for this writer. The full spectrum of their sound was played out across their set. The overt Pavement and Strokes influences were strong but there was also the long and winding krautrock sections where they stretched out, added loud, quiet and louder dynamics and built a swirling intensity that at some points could have gleefully carried on forever.

Never Stops bounced out of the speakers like a quieter cousin of Spoon, subdued but utterly infectious. Agoraphobia wooed the audience with its seductive mumbled vocals and lullaby guitar melody while Little Kids stepped out of this dimension with its trippy shoegaze folk. The song Microcastle was one of the tender highlights toward the end of the night with Cox lulling the audience into silence just in time for the rest of the band to kick back in with the euphoric and uplifting second half of the song.

Cox is undoubtedly the star of the show with quite an amazing varied vocal style. It could be soft and cooing one minute and the next it is a delay-laden scream, infinitely more assertive than you would expect from someone of his physicality. Cox was also in a chatty mood with the crowd. His conversations ranged from his affinity for the herb lavender to the stoush between Atlanta rappers Gucci and Young Jeezy. Witty and sharp as a tack, Cox proved that though their music can often be hazy and dreamy, they don’t fall into the stoner, shoegaze stereotype in any shape or form.

Deerhunter showed that indie music can be tough and challenging and still be full of soul and emotion. They seemed to love performing and the crowd reciprocated. Listening to Microcastle again today I’m hearing things that I wonder why I didn’t hear before, a sure sign of how seeing a great band in person can erase previous misconceptions. I’d go so far as saying Deerhunter was one of the more satisfying gigs so far in 2009.