One thing I always look for in a great band is variation. The ability to consistently modify their sound while still maintaining their identity. An album gets old quickly when you hear a song that reminds you of another that you heard just a few tracks earlier. It’s even worse when a band comes out with the same album twice. This is where experimental bands come in. Their system of writing songs makes being repetitive utterly impossible. And one of my favorite experimental bands will always be Deerhunter.
Deerhunter originate from Atlanta. They have been around for much longer than I was aware. As soon as I heard “Desire Lines” for the first time, I was hooked. They could be listed as several different genres but it is their indie roots that I most know them for. Their ability to craft such great music with more basic features including acoustic guitars and scratchy vocals always amazes me. Throw in a little shoe-gaze and you got a recipe for success. “Desire Lines” is a great chill-out and reflect on everything kind of song. Very simplistic lyrics, more there as a reason to showcase the fine vocals of Bradford Cox rather than to have much meaning. What I think makes the song great is the backing vocals that compliment Cox’s perfectly. I’m sure you’ll notice them (they start during the verses @ 0:34). Once the lyrics are done, the song goes on for some time with the guitar leading the way. Although the execution of it is exceptional, it goes on for about a minute too long. It is quite enjoyable, though. See what you think…
This next track is a downer. But it has to be included because of what a great song it truly is. If you read the lyrics you can tell that Cox put a lot of pain in them to describe an horrible, inhumane experience. He doesn’t get too graphic, though. It’s mostly open for interpretation. The song doesn’t really build up to anything, its purpose is to send a message. Once again, not a feel-good song but it hooked me the first time I heard it and if you listen to it with an open mind you may be able to appreciate it for the great work of art it is.
And for the last Deerhunter track, I have posted “Nothing Ever Happened.” I felt it was necessary to feature one of their more upbeat offerings. Most of their work is slower but they can put together a quick, catchy tune like Nothing Ever Happened with the best of them. The guitar is the highlight off this song along with some base-lines. The lyrics do not have much meaning in this song either and that could be the singer’s goal. He knows that the music alone on this track is enough and there’s no reason to let attention seeking lyrics or overbearing singing get in the way. This is a smart yet just great song to rock out to…it also features a lengthy guitar solo for the last half of the song or so for those not overly interested in vocals, much like myself. It’s necessary to not read into the lyrics too much with Deerhunter. It could make for a pretty depressing listening session if you over think their music. Enjoy it for what it is.