Album Review: Atlas Sound – Parallax
Bradford Cox has always been an otherworldly sort, but the second offering from the Deerhunter frontman is on a whole ‘nother plane of weird. Dedicated to the memory of equally ceaselessly experimental Broadcast frontwoman Trish Keenan, ‘Parallax’ is a singularly strange affair. Take ‘Amplifiers’, which begins something akin to a lo-fi tango, which quickens and quickens, until apexing in a tangled mess of feedback. Or the gauzy dream-pop of ‘Te Amo’ – with it’s woozy synths and Bradford’s 50’s style croon, it may strike many as the most prosiac thing Bradford has ever done, but listen closer and there’s something distinctly feverish lurking under ‘Te Amo’s diaphanous haze. But it’s penultimate track ‘Flagstaff’ that jars the most – a noodling folk epic redolent of Anais Mitchell’s ‘Hadestown’ fare, it pitches Bradford’s mewling lyrics about ‘A future so dark/ I’d describe it, but your jaw would drop’ over deceptively soothing folk guitar and advancing sonic dissonance. ‘Parallax’ isn’t one of those albums that smacks you around the face on first listen – but if you live with it, study it, peel back its layers, you’ll find an enduringly unsettling album that horrifies as much as it delights.
Key Tracks: ‘Te Amo’, ‘Angel is Broken’, ‘Flagstaff’.
For Fans Of: Deerhunter, Beach House, Yo La Tengo
(Published in AU Magazine)