Deafheaven - Sunbather

From a distance, the title track from Deafheaven’s sophomore LP, Sunbather, sounds like a particularly harrowing and intense display of might. But in the lovingly crafted details, the song is all about dynamics: George Clarke’s raw shriek is pure urgency and desperation; percussionist Daniel Tracy’s rhythms vary from hailstorm to sunshower as the movements progress and demand; and Kerry McCoy’s guitars ring out from a din of reverb and noise, bringing melody and muscle, guiding the song through clouds to Olympian heights, and then dipping gracefully, suddenly, into shadows. The final quarter of the 10-minute-plus “Sunbather” is a study in contrast and momentum: A dizzying post-black metal barrage relents, and suddenly the guitars and bass are gentle ripples in an otherwise placid dream-pop pool; then, everything ascends at once, and all the elements combine to reach higher peaks still — climax upon climax, until it is hushed.

I wrote about Sunbather’s opening track, “Dream House,” when it premiered on the 1st of this month; it’s the best song I’ve heard this year, full stop. If you haven’t already, go download it right now. You can listen to “Sunbather” below. And I strongly encourage you to do so. And you can check out Deafheaven live at one of the many stops on their just-announced US tour, dates/venues for which are also below.

Deafheaven tour dates:

05/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Showdown (DJ Set & Sunbather Listening Party)
05/22 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
05/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
05/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
06/19 – Tempe, AZ @ The Yucca Tap Room
06/21 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
06/22 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
06/23 – Houston, TX @ Mango’s
06/25 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
06/26 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
06/26 – North Birmingham, AL @ The Forge
06/27 – Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone Club
06/29 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
06/30 – Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel
07/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
07/02 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
07/03 – Cambridge, MA @ T.T. The Bear’s Place
07/05 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
07/06 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
07/07 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick Lounge
07/08 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
07/09 – Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theater
07/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
07/11 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
07/13 – Portland, OR @ Bunker Bar
07/15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Bottom of the Hill

Sunbather is out 6/11 via Deathwish, Inc.

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Comments (2)
  1. Michael, well done on the quick revision. Much appreciated. Great review.

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