Deerhunter continues its remarkable creative outburst of the past year with a
new EP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange. This short but powerful set of five songs is not a leftover from their most
recent album, Microcastle, but said
to be the result of a new songwriting push. That may be, but it still works
well as a companion piece to the album, setting the same hazy, rocking,
textured, emotive tones.
The EP starts off with the title track, a 1950s-referencing,
syncopated pop song awash in background atmospherics. Bradley Cox’s vocals
never sit in the forefront. They are always buried in the mix , treated more
like just another track than the main focus of the song. “Disappearing Ink” is
more of a driving rock song, although the ominous echo wash keeps the precision
bass and drums feeling light and airy. The same can be said for the closing
tune, “Circulation,” a song that employs a Strokes-style vocal melody and
meandering guitar lines. Somehow, songs like this work quite well in the
context of a weirder, more formless track like “Famous Last Words,” embedded
with a Theremin-like keyboard sound.
Deerhunter continues to make some of the most interesting
new rock music around. Hopefully, this EP signals that the songwriting process
is ongoing and something else new is just around the corner.
Standout Tracks: “Rainwater
Cassette Exchange,” “Famous Last Words” JONAH FLICKER