As we've gotten to know Bradford Cox over the last couple of years through shows, interviews, and blog posts, one of the Deerhunter frontman's most appealing qualities is his deep and nuanced appreciation of the music of others. Some musicians listen to records to see how they work, check out the competition, or trawl for ideas; by all available evidence, Cox feels records, deeply. If he was born without musical gifts and couldn't sing or play an instrument, one can imagine him working at a record store, amassing an enviable collection while driving people on a message board crazy with the suren ess of his detailed opinions. Whatever you think of his exploits as an indie rock media figure, Cox's music fandom is easy to identify with and also offers a portal into his own work.
Take a quick gander at Deerhunter’s discography and you’ll notice a clear stylistic trajectory. From the confrontational noise of “Turn It Up Faggot” to the ambient preoccupations of Cryptograms to the straight-up indie-pop of Microcastle/Weird Era Cont., it’s plain to see that as the band has evolved over time, its songwriting has increasingly tended toward the more accessible end of the spectrum. Unsurprisingly, it appears that Bradford C ox’s other songwriting vehicle, Atlas Sound, is following a similar arc. On Logos, his second album under the Atlas Sound moniker, Cox provides us with 11 songs that are far less insular, though no less dreamy, than those he has penned in the past. While his fractured compositions still evoke the myth of the bedroom pop auteur, the songs on Logos sound considerably more refined than the lo-fi sketches being churned out by many of his peers. This, as it turns out, is a very good thing.
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