ONE WE MISSED: Deerhunter, Fading Frontier (4AD)

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Deerhunter: Duplex Planet
ONE WE MISSED: Deerhunter, Fading Frontier (4AD)

Quite how we missed this new album by Deerhunter/Bradford Cox who has long been an Elsewhere favourite is simple: laziness.

The album doesn't announce its contents in the clever cover so it probably just got sidelined when something with the artist and title bannered large yelled at us from the pile.

Cox is one of the smarter guys in the pop business, although he'd doubtless prefer to be known as occupying a place in indie or alt.something.

But while his previous albums have skewed into some interesting directions and parked up in dark corners, this one (mostly) flows out of the speakers like molten sunshine and -- despite some typically challenging lyrics ("I was born already nailed to the cross" on Snakeskin) -- a song like Living My Life (about making your way out and back in) has a warmth about it which is addictive.

There are songs here with as much gentle psychedelia as has come from Kurt Vile and Flaming Lips, pop structures and sounds that wouldn't be amiss on mainstream rock radio (after 10pm perhaps) and you suspect his recent listening has included Brian Wilson, mid-period REM, the Church and such.

Cox has long been a troubled soul (like Wilson) and some of that still infiltrates these songs -- notably a lyric here and there, the deliberately disturbing ambiance and otherworldly Leather and Wood, a slightly off-kilter arrangement or production tweak from Ben H Allen (back from Halcyon Digest), but mostly there is a gentle upward sweep which can be transporting.

Sorry to have missed it, delighted to have discovered in time for summer. 

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