Atlas Sound Parallax Premature Evaluation

The latest solo record from one-man four-track recorder Bradford Cox is probably his most accessible release under the moniker, striking a pretty even balance between the hazier Atlas Sound material as well and Cox’s work in his more widely-known outfit Deerhunter. The songs on the record, for one, seem structurally tighter; songs like “Angel Is Broken” and “Lightworks” could easily fit on to Halcyon Digest; “Modern Aquatic Nightsongs” itself is an off-kilter, seasick “Helicopter.” Moodier explorations like “Flagstaff” and “Terra Incognita” seem to revolve around a more cohesive sonic core than anything on Logos or the Bedroom Databank series. While there’s no mistaking that this is solely a Bradford Cox venture, certainly, Parallax exhibits more crystallized, sharper examples of his songwriting capabilities.

Parallax is out 11/8 on 4AD. Several other tracks from the album have also leaked, including “Te Amo” and “Amplifiers.”

Comments (13)
  1. Although Logos was a bit disjointed in going several different directions, I like that each Atlas Sound album can’t really be compared to the previous because their identities are that different. I think this one might be my favorite, though. Bradford as an assertive solo songwriter is a good style on him.

  2. When Halcyon Digest came out people complained that it drew too much influence from Atlas Sound. I wonder if people are gonna complain that this draws too much like Deerhunter.

    • I definitely hear the gap closing on the difference in sound between the two acts. Halcyon Digest did sound more like Atlas Sound with a few of the songs even seeming to be just Bradford by myself. Parallax nearly abandons all of the electronic leanings that I found to be a major aspect of what differentiated Atlas in the past from Deerhunter. Having said that, I think this is an amazing record and already one of the best of the year.

  3. is this thing leaked?

    • yes it has. half the record has been leaked already too.

      wonder if bradford’s peeved or not. probably not because this was actually finished.

  4. it’s pleasant, and there are some great songs on here, but it’s a struggle for this album to keep my attention. i was a huge fan of deerhunter and atlas sound through 2008 and 2009, but my interest has waned since halcyon digest happened. “flagstaff” and “terra incognita” are great tracks, though. i flat out love them both. “te amo” was great at ATP 2009, but i don’t like the lyrics for this final version.

    however, i think what makes this album not click for me is the fact that i’m not listening to music like what bradford is making right now. both projects made music that lined up with the kind of music i was interested in. when i first got into deerhunter and atlas sound, i was interested in ambient-leaning, light noise-esque, dreamy rock music, with some post-punk aesthetic thrown in, and both fields had that covered in their own ways. i was into more singer-songwriter-y stuff, and then logos fit right in with that. but when halcyon came out, i was into like.. kate bush, and dream pop, and it didn’t click with me at all. parallax has sadly suffered the same fate, i guess. i’m not into it, but then again, i’m not listening to anything like that.

    all that said, i still think this album is good. i also hope that it gets a lot of acclaim; bradford really deserves it, and knowing how much his ideas on music helped shape mine, i would want his music to be available to as many people as possible. unfortunately, i doubt i’ll ever really be in the mood to listen to this record. c’est la vie.

    • Sorry, I’m a music-nazi, but I believe you’re referring to Deerhunter from 2007-2009; otherwise, you wouldn’t be including Cryptograms (2007) or Flourescent Grey (2007), which is really where Deerhunter held onto their ambient and noise leanings.

      Anyway, after about 10-15 spins (huge Deerhunter/Atlas Sound fan), this is a very welcome progression and one I anticipated following Halcyon Digest. Anything recently released by 4AD (e.g. Halcyon Digest, Strange Mercy, Eye Contact, Twin Shadow’s Forget, w h o k i l l) is going to sound polished.

      My initial judgment is that Parallax > Logos, simply because Logos, as someone previously said, sounded somewhat disjointed. Also, I like Bradford stepping it up as a frontman. His songwriting is incredibly strong and this album showcases that better than any Atlas Sound album before it.

      An aside: I think Lockett Pundt’s contributions to Deerhunter are completely overlooked. Pundt wrote Desire Lines, Like New, Agorophobia, Neither of Us, Uncertainly, and then some.

  5. Given that Halcyon Digest was by far the best album of the past five-ish years (yes), I’m really excited

  6. I want to hear this so fucking bad..

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  8. why is this PE so much shorter than all the others? also it’s full of typos.

  9. ecstatic adoration to constructive criticism

  10. I agree that it’s his most accessible Atlas Sound release, but we still weren’t high on the new album. Check out our opposing viewpoint in our Atlas Sound – Parallax Review.

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