Deerhunter: Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? review – Unpredictable and compelling

Fri, Jan 11, 2019, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?

Artist:
Deerhunter

Label:
4AD

Genre:
Rock

Deerhunter’s eighth record is preoccupied with anxiety about the “disappearance of culture, of humanity, of nature, of logic and emotion”– positing the value in making another record, while making another record, and it’s surprisingly optimistic.

Death in Midsummer talks of people who have “worked their lives away” set against an almost jaunty, baroque-influenced melody, with swerving percussion, harpsichord, and Bradley Cox’s soothingly defiant vocal, which is progressed on No-One’s Sleeping, folding in brass, to pleasing effect.

Deerhunter - Death in Midsummer

There is an eerie-psych atmosphere to Greenpoint Gothic and Element, with the ghostly hand of The Velvet Underground extending its influence. What Happens to People? is one of the highlights – a romantic meditation on loss, isolation, and the causal link in that, and the difficulty but desire, to nourish.

With production by other artists such as Cate Le Bon, the record is rich in musical left-turns – Détournement’s harp, synthesisers and augmented vocals creates something futuristic-sounding, yet weary, as on Tarnung, with its affecting choir of voices. Album closer Nocturne is a distillation of the record’s conceit, bringing a lightness of touch to its swaggering percussion and synthesisers. It is unpredictable and compelling – classic Deerhunter.