Picking up where the other five left off, here is the remainder of my favorites of the year:
DEERHUNTER – MICROCASTLE
Deerhunter – Microcastle
Bradford Cox had a good year. Though things looked bleak when guitarist Colin Mee left the band in late 2007, Cox refused to loose his head and somehow released two proper albums and one full length bonus disk over the course of 2008. Add to this the numerous other tracks he posted on his somewhat notorious and usually highly entertaining blog and you only begin to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Although the Atlas Sound album that Cox put out early in 08′ is worthy of much attention as well, it’s “Microcastle”, the newest Deerhunter record, that got my juices flowing and has spawned many salivating mouths and eagerly listening ears over the past few months since it’s been released. Though I’d found Deerhunter an interesting band before, there was an obtuseness that roamed through large shady spots of their back catalog that often wounded my attention span. This isn’t to say that I don’t like to meander, or that I feel pop music should always be pristine and simplistic, but the more structured moments of theirs on albums past made me so swoony that when they got all cryptic and self indulgently abstract, I would be left a little disappointed. “Microcastle” is the Deerhunter album I always wished for. Their sense of structural gradualness is still present and the atmospherics are still just as important as the songs themselves, but we have an album that is mostly made up almost entirely of actual songs here and damn fine ones at that. The fat is trimmed, the guitars pave a more melodic course and Deerhunter arrive fully formed as the pop band I always sort of secretly wished that they would become. Yay!
Here they are playing at the now defunct McCarren Park Pool, a favored venue that we Brooklynites bid farewell to this year: