In December 2014, Bradford Cox, front-man of alternative rock group Deerhunter, was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Due to a genetic condition known as Marfan syndrome, which causes those afflicted to be lanky, thin, and weak-limbed, he underwent a recovery that was mentally trying and exceedingly painful.
Oftentimes, when a prolific musician such as Cox experiences a traumatic experience, it is reflected in their musical output. Strangely enough, this was not the case for Deerhunter’s latest LP, Fading Frontier. In fact, it’s the band’s most optimistic and coherent project in recent memory.
Fading Frontier is by no means a marathon. At nine songs that fall short of 40 minutes, it’s a pleasant, ethereal sprint. Each track comes and goes at a relatively quick pace, but leaves an impression of satisfaction. The listener won’t yearn for more, as is common with shorter albums.
However, the aforementioned satisfaction may not be immediate. There’s a lot to process here. Lush reverb sequences and layered vocals offer a level of depth that won’t be fully appreciated on first listen.
The band has also kept with their knack for creating irresistible melodies. Tracks like, “Breaker,” and, “All The Same,” are lead by gleaming, freely flowing guitar riffs drenched in euphoria.
It’s qualities like this that give, Fading Frontier, an atmosphere that both is unique and enjoyable; a definite contender for 2015’s best.
Fading Frontier will be released on October 16 on 4AD records.