“I had dreams that frighten me awake.”
Some albums are so hauntingly beautiful that you feel the music all over your body, the sounds crawling around and finding those emotions hidden deep inside. Deerhunter’s Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. is definitely one of these rare finds.
In 2007, Deerhunter released Cryptograms to wild critical acclaim that left me scratching my head. The wide spread sounds and ultimately unfocused point of view missed the mark for me and I wrote the band off as one of those indie fads I would never understand. I was shocked to find when hearing Microcastle how much the band’s overall sound had changed and the wide grin across my face flashed approval.
The album starts with a slow floating in space intro and quickly snaps into Agoraphobia, a poetic orgy of lyrics telling the story of a boy who desires the feeling of being trapped in cramped spaces. Next is the front-runner for best song of the year and maybe the decade, Never Stops. I have no desire to try to describe how perfect the song is, so please listen and escape into the twisted/brilliant mind of Bradford Cox. The rest of the album builds just as well as the first three songs, giving us a roller coaster of soft melodies to razor blazing guitars cutting throughout. The album is perfect…just perfect.
They also serve us up a Kid A-esq second disc Weid Era Cont. (Kid A-esq meaning the experimental risk taker). It’s not as polished or thought out as Microcastle but there are some definite gems on the disc. Operation is a stand out song, mixing a soft punk feel with Cox crooning over top with lyrics that plead: “Operation…cover your ears. You’re not going to like what you’re going to hear…I hate you…I hate you…” I’m not sure if he is apologizing for the risks he takes or the low production quality on this second disc but if he is, then no worries Mr. Cox, I’ll take a severing of the grit you serve up on Weird Era any day.
I always find it easier to make clear points why I hate an album because I’m not losing anything if I don’t get the words right. With an album as powerful as Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. my emotions get the best of me and my words wander around the page, dripping with incoherent love for the sounds. Let me just say, I’m not one of those Deerhunter fan boys who freaked out over Cryptograms and would give anything they release a rave review. I hated this band…hated…and this new album is the best of the year. It is an instant classic. This is Ok Computer. This is Nevermind. This is Yoshimi. This is Daydream Nation. This album is fucking amazing.