If you are wondering where the hell popular music is going these days, it is actually right back to where we started. This phenomenon is clearly stated in the theory of “Regression to the Mean.” That means, everything has a tendency to drift back to the average. That’s why your favorite team performs a little worse the next season after a great run. It is normal, and it even applies to Deerhunter’s new release Fading Frontier. The band, beginning with their debut release Cryptograms, explored some pretty out there sounds relative to the world of indie-pop.
But Fading Frontier is the most cut and dry Deerhunter drop to date. Its format is pretty standard: vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and some electronic effects interspersed here and there. The record is relatively short, weighing in at 9 tracks just under 37 minutes. Unlike previous releases, this record’s sound is clean and crisp departing from the super washy, yet somehow gritty sound they have achieved in the past.
Overall, this record lacks energy for the type of pop they are going for here. In prior records they’ve captured the chill vibe perfectly. Fading Frontier leaves you wanting more: a longer record and a skosh more rock ‘n’ roll.
However, that’s not to say there are some awesome cuts of this record. “Take Care” is a dreamy ¾ time jam. Following “Take Care” is “Leather and Wood,” an empty, mellow, and tormented addition to the record that is the sonic outlier of the record that sets up the next cut, “Snakeskin,” with surprising contrast. “Snakeskin” is funky and bombastic with a super interesting harmonic structure, minor to major, that catches the ear. It is certainly my favorite track with a vibe similar to a band called White Denim that you should definitely check out if you dig Deerhunter.
Devan plays music on KSSU usually Jazz.