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Deerhunter - "Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?" | Album Review


by Gianluigi Marsibilio (@GMarsibilio)

The inspiration found in Marfa, a city in Texas, is lit up in the Deerhunter's seventh album which narrates mankind in decline, with masterful storytelling. Everything seems to disappear and in the cover of dark there is exactly the sense of loss of both belongings and of cultural and human references.

Opening an album with "Death In Midsummer" should already be a good reason to love the return of Deerhunter. The feeling in hearing Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? is that of rolling in the countryside, through endless expanses of grass. Every distance is filled, the limit of reality no longer exists: songs like "What Happens To People" or "Détournement" are tickets to the legend, and what emerges is certainly the epic character of Bradford Cox.

Understanding the figure of a frontman like Cox is not easy; his ability to capture nostalgia and reconnect it to a poetic and personal universe is unique. In an interview with Buzzfeed in 2015, he said, "When I go on a nostalgia trip it's not aesthetic. For me, it's about trying to recapture the smell or the feeling of something that I've experienced in the past personally." His essential metrics, the sobbing words in open and complex melodies become an amplifier of the band's contemporary sound.

WHEAD? is pure unpredictability. A manual on contemporary history reinterpreted in a psychedelic key. Deerhunter perfectly succeeds in playing with noises, interrupted silences and the listener's expectation. You can hear it in that amazing, and strangely short, musical architecture that is "Greenpoint Gothic," a krautrock monument.

Since Cryptograms in 2007, Deerhunter have built a silent but studded career with interesting albums like Monomania or Microcastle and an absolute masterpiece like Halcyon Digest in 2010, which has definitely rewritten the sound of the band. Deerhunter kills Instagram-pop trends with a collection of long and complex tracks. Some are a turning point, for example, "Nocturne" is fundamental to understand the deep ambient intentions of the record. "Nocturne" keeps us whirling in the tall grass, but it brings the night to the record. The keyboards make an expansive work that intertwines perfectly with the wonderful sounds in the background, used perfectly to symbolize an eccentric and tormented soul.

Cox emerges in all his contradictions, in his uninhibited and controversial vitality. It is a mystery how with a frontman with a rebellious personality, Deerhunter has remained in a hidden niche. However, I'm sure that with the warm guitars enriched by the vintage sounds contained in this album, there will finally be a breakthrough. The sounds and the work at the center of the mix have made a construction that manages to be linked to the contemporary, while some elements can even be anticipatory.

The good use of chaos is a value not to be neglected to understand the importance of the work. The sound of WHEAD? is more rock-friendly and maybe 2019 will be a good year for a definitive consecration, at least in popular terms. The blurred boundary between art, emotion, and pop is lost, crossed and confused in a record that is a masterpiece. Immanuel Kant in the preface of his "Critique of pure reason" said of Galileo: "A light was kindled amongst the investigators of nature when Galilei let balls of a definite weight roll down the inclined plane.” WHEAD? is like that, we are lying down and rolling with yet another Deerhunter pearl in our ears.