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Deerhunter Fuses Surrealism with Sparkly Pop 

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When Bradford Cox brought his Atlanta band Deerhunter to Denver last summer, he startled audiences with the bright-pop sounds of a band known for its inscrutability. The Welsh art-rocker Cate Le Bon, serving as producer for Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD), brought the band to Marfa, Texas, to allow Cox to expand his surrealist muse. The resulting work is an unexpected mélange of ominous surreal lyrics set to harpsichord and tenor harmonies.

Some Deerhunter fans might find this a groundbreaking manifesto for post-populist times. Certainly in its pop qualities, this is a Deerhunter album destined for café and boutique play. The abstract side, however, stays a bit too cryptic. Cox lets us know he’s aiming for both absurdity and sober profundities by the way he plays with fonts in the lyric sheet, but the signal is buried in the noise. For now, Deerhunter will have to be taken at its Beatles-esque surface layer, as the Dada within is hard to decipher.

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