Deerhunter, Atlas Sound | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Deerhunter, Atlas Sound Recommended 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Dec. 13, 9 p.m. 2015

Bradford Cox delivers what seems like a lot of contradictions on Fading Frontier (4AD), the lovely new album by his long-running band Deerhunter. The most elegant and melodic music of the group’s career toggles between nihilism and hope, but closer inspection suggests there’s really not much of a dichotomy. On opening track “All the Same” Cox describes a friend of his father’s who had a sex change that altered his life: “No more wife / No more kids,” he sings. But in the final verse there’s a triumphant message about turning handicaps into strengths. In the midst of recording the record Cox was seriously wounded in a car accident, and his convalescence appears to have affected his worldview, especially on “Duplex Planet” (“After the body’s gone / The scent remains”). On the closer, “Carrion,” Cox’s wordplay around the phrase “I still carry on” suggests something very dark and less hopeful. Musically the band sounds warmer, gentler, and more direct, with a strong neo-80s vibe. The hooks and tenderness pull me in, leaving me to confront some difficult ideas and images—but it’s a very effective sort of dislocation. Cox’s side project Atlas Sound opens the late show.

Peter Margasak

Price: sold out

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