Deerhunter – Fading Frontier (4AD, 2015)
Thematically bleak yet musically comforting, Fading Frontier represents a logical progression for Deerhunter, embracing a poppier direction while injecting psychedelia back into the equation. Though many of the band’s odd experiments have been eschewed in favour of a more approachable sound, singer/songwriter Bradford Cox’s pop chops reign supreme, delivering some truly infectious pieces; “Snakeskin” is a funky palette cleanser of a song, whereas “Take Care” smartly has room to grow into a gorgeous whirlwind. The band’s first album since Cox’s severe car crash in late 2014, this Deerhunter is notably gloomier, presenting a skewed perspective of familiar themes. Though this introspection is warranted and often incredibly effective, Fading Frontier nonetheless displays signs of a power struggle throughout, its sonic ideas sparring with Cox’s personal discourse.
Trial Track: “Snakeskin”