Fading Frontier

Written by: BV on 06/01/2016 10:11:18

I’ll immediately admit to not being a devoted fan of Deerhunter – with that out of the way, it should be pretty obvious that I am in fact pretty new to their musical universe and a late bloomer in understanding it as well, resulting in a more than delayed review of their newest effort, ”Fading Frontier”.

I’ve read a fair deal about “Fading Frontier” before actually venturing into it myself, which is a fairly new practice to me as I generally want to approach new music with an unbiased head. Nevertheless I had read my fair share of ramblings from Deerhunter member Bradford Cox, his thoughts on pop music and, of course, listened to their discography. When you then stumble upon a piece of information on the internet where Cox declares “Fading Frontier” the band’s domestic record, I’d say I’m fairly inclined to agree.

It’s carried by a beautifully lush production and an almost harmless nature in the way similar to Tom Petty’s albums which is not really surprising at all, as Petty is one of Cox’s alleged influences on this particular album. The opener, “All the Same”, shares its title with a Real Estate song but also shares other likenesses in the tightly interlocked, beautifully crisp guitar sounds and the almost ethereal vocals. To me, this is the sound of being content. Everything seems incredibly centered and, well, functional in its own little world. It differs slightly from this formula on “Take Care” which is driven by a metallic and thin drum machine sound and a waltz-beat, thus letting go (albeit briefly) of the almost paisley underground chord structures and lushness.

As mentioned, I’m inclined to view this album as the sound of being content, but this doesn’t mean the lyrical side of Deerhunter is content. Far from it, apparently, as “All the Same” is allegedly the tale of a friend’s dad who changes his life for the worse and eventually winds up losing the will to live altogether, while “Take Care” actually sounds like a somewhat sarcastic, semi-suicidal snarky remark. There’s a definite duality at work here, and it most definitely does wonders for Deerhunter in the long run. “Snakeskin” is somewhat atypical as well, drawing on an almost funky influence not unlike a few British bands during the hey-day of late 80’s and early 90’s indie and Britpop. It’s something you can drink, dance and forget to - a quality you should never underestimate in music.

“Fading Frontier” is definitely my favorite Deerhunter record. While I know this sentiment might not seem like much, given my late blooming in terms of getting into the soundscapes of Deerhunter, it should nonetheless be stressed that it is a strong compliment in its own right, as I have now found yet another band whose discography I want to immerse myself in. Check this album out, it’s well worth it if you’re into dreamy ambience, noisy outbursts and dark lyricism.


Download: All the Same, Take Care, Leather and Wood
For the fans of: Animal Collective, Atlas Sound, Real Estate
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.10.2015

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