Moment of total honesty: I didn’t write as much about Deerhunter’s Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. as I meant to. It was one of those releases I caught late in the year and got too overwhelmed with end of year lists and holiday goings on to give it the write-up I wanted to.
Part of that was due to the albums’ divergent listening experiences. Listening to it casually left the impression of a warm, dreamy, free spirited album, where examining it closely revealed a structured volatility.
Both albums exude a deceptively simple, hypnotic nature. The repetition of a melody or a lyric makes it easy to disappear in or get carried away by almost every single song, yet there is enough variance to keep the ears and brain curious.
The intent listens revealed a surprising formulaic pattern, in contrast to the hazy dreaminess. Almost every track kicked off immediately, punching up their languid, soothing escape with just the slightest sense of urgency. Many tracks followed the same movement: the introduction of a pattern that eventually self-destructs into an eruption of chaotic guitars, sound effects and distorted vocals.
Another moment of total honesty: I never listened to Cryptograms, which this Deerhunter track, “White Ink,” is from. Though “White Ink” lacks the pop quality that makes Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. such an exciting listen, it still exemplifies Deerhunter’s hypnotist abilities, and is perfectly complemented by this equally hypnotic video by Justin Garr.