Sunday, November 15, 2009

Atlas Sound - Logos

I dedicate this blog post to my good friend Evan, who opened my eyes to Atlas Sound. I do not think I would have spent one second of my time listening to this project, which is an insanely good one by Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. Cox loves music, and he is all over the spectrum, making it with gusto. Noise, dreamy atmospherics, clean 60s pop, and the list goes on.

I don't think I'm really qualified to give a full review of the album, considering I've never heard other Atlas Sound recordings, and I don't even own a full Deerhunter album. (Which one should I get, guys?) I will, however, rant about the things about Logos that I love.

The first time I heard this album was on a bike ride near my grandmother's house. I nearly fell off my bike when I heard "Walkabout." You see, I recognized the song he loops in the background. It's by the Dovers, an unknown band from the 60s that should NEVER have been unknown. I put this band on the level of the Byrds and the Beach Boys and every other 60s surf/psychedelic/pop group that I love. (Read a hostile fan's rant about why they should have been famous on their fake myspace.) Anyway, the Dover's song, "What Am I Gonna Do" is pure sunshine and golden retrievers. Cox makes it into a dreamlike utopia of perfect harmony. I could cry when I hear it with all it's strange electronic blips that make it weirder and alien-like. When I say I could cry, I should specify. I mean a good cry, like the kind you have after you have a dream that you are madly in love with someone. You can't see their face. And then you wake up alone. But, I mean, it's a happy/sad cry!

Another song that almost kills me is "Sheila," and I'm not saying that just because the lyrics entail some sort of "marriage-proposal/suicide-pact" (according to Rolling Stone mag). It is just a fine ass pop song. If I was still a DJ, I might subject my listeners to a half hour of this song on repeat. Just because it's that good! You hear this hooky three-chord beginning with simple vocals and guitars and lyrics like "we will grow old/and when we die we'll bury ourselves." Then the bridge comes - "cuz no one wants to die alone." And it gets all spooky, in a totally non-Halloween way. In a tragic love story kind of way. I want to dance, I want to curl up in the fetal position, I want to shout the lyrics from the top of my house, I want to hug my dog. This song makes me want to do something, I just don't know what it is. The conflicting message and the amazing musical structure confuse me, in such a good way.

And the rest of the album floats together in a way that strangely connects all the oddities and specialness into a bundle of marshmallow. Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Panda Bear both add vocals. There are creepy things going on throughout. "My halo burned a hold in the sky. My halo burned a hole in the ground." What do those lyrics mean? I have no idea, but I dig them. I like the echoey reverb throughout, and the alien-ified vocals on "Kid Klimax." I like how sometimes it sounds like the album is raining, and sometimes you feel the sun shining through. I just can't describe the many things you feel when you listen to Logos because it's too much. And too much analyzing would ruin the beauty I think.

What do you guys think about this album?

Atlas Sound - Sheila

Buy the album here.

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