After working through the leaked tracks and those posted to MySpace earlier this summer, pretty much all of us agreed: there’s less swoony catharsis at play in this newest crop of Deerhunter songs, but not at the expense of swoon-worthy songwriting. I’ve heard the relatively dialed down emotionalism and detachment of Microcastles (or whatever iteration of it the net possesses) stated as a complaint, and maybe even a misstep, but this fantastic performance of new tunes for Manchester’s Guardian Media owned Channel M proves a couple of things:
- You may think it a misstep, but as this footage shows, the style shift is at least a well conceived and intentional move, and one in which Bradford has total confidence. A month ago I said “I don’t imagine him screeching on top of amps in dresses (as much) this time,” but obviously the shift runs deeper: check B’s haircut and Baltimore Orioles t-shirt, painting him as less the troubled kid in your school who had serious issues at home, more the All American boy next door with the killer CD collection and dad who bought him great music gear to enable him to win the Best Musician superlative. This is Bradford exploring the mechanics of the songwriting he so clearly and vocally admires in conversation, collaboration, and blogpost alike. And if you think Cox’s visual aesthetic doesn’t factor into his musical intention in the slightest … please.
- Anyone who thinks it’s a misstep hasn’t spent enough time with the lockstepping awesomeness of “Never Stops,” which straight kills it here.
“Never Stops” is so awesome. OK, not so boys ‘n’ girls next door, with that creative duct tape usage, and that suits me just great. Stream the studio versions of “Never Stops” and “Nothing Ever Happened” at MySpace. Microcastle is due out some time this year on Kranky.