US - Georgia - Full Moon 162 - 12/02/09
Kranky (US)/4AD (EU) / Playground
Atlas Sound is Bradford James Cox' solo project. Cox, known as the singer/front man/founder of psychedelic/ambient (or 'ambient punk') outfit Deerhunter, whose second album, Cryptograms, raised massive critical praise. Cox (as Atlas Sound) put out his debut solo album, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel last year, and here's a second go, with Logos.
First single off Logos, "Walkabout", is a happy-swirling pop song, featuring Noah 'Panda Bear' Lennox (Animal Collective). A joyful, uplifting melody, even though Cox' lyrics often circle dark or gloomy matters (by reading source material on the net, Cox comes from some rather dark and troubled background, with a loadfull of bad experiences throughout his childhood and youth). That said, "Walkabout" isn't the darkest corner: "What did you want to see/What did you want/To be when you grew up". And, like I said, it's an indeed catchy song. "Sheila" is another catchy moment. Catchy as in semi-introvert, shoegaze-meets-Syd Barrett pop-music. "Quick Canal" features another guest singer; Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier. When it comes to influences Cox drops a long line of names, including Robert Wyatt, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Suicide, Sparks, Laurie Anderson, The Breeders, Robin Guthrie, Casino Versus Japan (A.K.A. Erik Kowalski), and Stereolab, to name some. "Quick Canal" do sound quite Stereolabish, much due to Laetitia's voice (of course). Other songs I think stand out are the quiet, stripped down "Attic Lights", and (almost) lulling "Criminals".
When going through Logos you'll for sure get presented to a variety of music, mainly on the eccentric side of pop. Most of the songs work quite well, but some songs are too spaced out for me. Yet, Bradford Cox create some fascinating and sparkling freak-pop you'll eventually return to either you want to or not.
Copyright © 2009 Håvard Oppøyen