Deerhunter return with a new album next month, and here is everything we know so far
The quirky, experimental indie rockers return with their first record in 5 years in January titled 'Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?'
Deerhunter are all set to return with a new album this coming January. The upcoming release marks the quirky Atlanta-based experimental indie rockers' eighth studio album, not counting the cassette-only studio album 'Double Dream of Spring', which was a mostly instrumental record released earlier this year as a filler while we eagerly await new material.
The album arrives four years after 2015's highly acclaimed 'Fading Frontiers', which is widely accepted as Deerhunter's warmest and most accessible record till date. Described by the band as "a science fiction album about the present," the new album has been previewed by two singles (which you can listen to below). The album also arrives after the death of former bassist Joshua Fauver, who passed away earlier this November and features a new producer as well.
As we await the new record from one of the quirkiest experimental indie acts of our generation, here's a rundown of everything we know so far and what to expect from the record.
What is the new album called?
Deerhunter announced that the new album is titled 'Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?'. The title is said to be “very informed by the environment” of Marfa, Texas where the band recorded the new album.
“I think it’s a title that is definitely at home right here,” frontman Bradford Cox said of Marfa, a ghostlike town in West Texas where other famous indie acts like Grizzly Bear and The xx have recorded too. “There is a feeling of disappearance here… The desert just has a lot of disappeared things in it. It’s where things have disappeared to,” he added.
‘Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?’, the new album by Deerhunter, will be released on January 18 2019. Available to pre-order now on brutalist grey LP, CD and digitally, you can find all details and new tour dates here: https://t.co/Tawaicrox9 pic.twitter.com/DjhBhEwMNN— Deerhunter (@DeerhunterMusic) October 30, 2018
When will it be out?
'Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?' is due out on January 18 via 4AD. Pre-orders for the album are ongoing via Deerhunter’s website.
What will it sound like?
Considering Deerhunter is one of the quirkiest, idiosyncratic bands in the current rock landscape, it's hard to guess what they have up their sleeve this time.
Fortunately, we have two early singles from the album to get a rough idea of what's headed our way. The lead single, which arrived in October is titled 'Death In Midsummer' and is a haunting, Bowie-esque ballad featuring harpsichords courtesy of Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon (who is also credited for production on the album). The harpsichord adds to the eerie feel of the track, giving it a feel of a dark and twisted carnival, and the fuzzy guitar solo further enhances the mood. It's a stark yet merry number and Cox addresses themes of loneliness, emptiness and dread in the lyrics. Check out the song below, which comes with an equally stark yet merry music video featuring Cox wandering around a bleak, desert town.
The second single titled 'Element' has been described by Cox himself as “an elegy for ecology (a landscape done in toxic watercolors).” The single continues to maintain the tempo and harpsichord-flecked tinkling riff from 'Death In Midsummer'. With strings drenched in reverb and Cox's pop-tinged choruses, 'Element' comes across as a fondly delivered mourning of the dying planet. Listen to it below.
The two previewed singles seem to suggest a more cohesive record, doing away with a lot of the ambient, psychedelic experimental sound of their previous albums. Although landing closer sonically to their previous LP, 2015's 'Fading Frontier', the two new singles lack the poppy warmth of the record, but continue to borrow from darker lyrical themes.
One thing we can safely expect to be missing from the record is the nostalgia-inducing tones that countless contemporary indie acts (and Deerhunter themselves) have often employed in recent years. Talking about the second track on the record, Cox quipped: “Is ‘No One’s Sleeping’ an outtake of an aborted Kinks recording session in 1977 Berlin with Eno producing? No. That is nostalgia. If there is one thing Deerhunter are making clear, it is that they have exhausted themselves with that toxic concept.”
Returning to produce the album is Ben H. Allen, who also shares production credits on 'Fading Frontier' as well as the band's magnum opus, 2010's 'Halcyon Digest'. As mentioned above, Cate Le Bon is also credited as a producer. It marks the Welsh singer's first time collaborating with the band and it'll be interesting to see what she adds into the mix.
Is the tracklist out?
The album has 10 tracks and spans a total of 37 minutes, which falls on the shorter side of Deerhunter albums which usually tend to stretch past the 45-minute mark. Expect the album to be tighter and fat-free compared to their more ambient, musique concrète-inspired albums like 'Monomania' and 'Halcyon Digest'. Here's the complete tracklist for the album:
01. Death In Midsummer
02. No One's Sleeping
03. Greenpoint Gothic
05. What Happens to People?
Is the band touring in support of the record?
Yes, indeed! Deerhunter is hitting the road next year to support the album. They kick off with a gig on January 17 at Los Angeles, just a day before the release of the album, after which they will hit Japan for a short set of dates. They return to North America in February and are scheduled to play a host of dates in Canada and the US before setting off to Europe in May for a set of dates in Switzerland, Norway and Denmark. Looks like It's going to be a busy new year for the band!