Logos is the second album from Atlas Sound, the solo project of Deerhunter frontman and guitarist Bradford Cox, following closely behind last year’s eccentrically titled Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel.
The age-old adage “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” can apply to Cox’s solo efforts as Atlas Sound draws a lot from the same musical well as Deerhunter, with waves of layered guitars and a whirlpool of reverbed echoes and snappy rhythms. But he allows himself to show a little more experimentalism and freedom of expression with Atlas Sound. And with Logos, Cox seems to have achieved the delicate balance of indie-rock experimentalism and swirling dream-pop melodies.
From the pensive strums and squelchy electronics of opener “The Light That Failed” to the fading guitar squalls of the closing title track, Logos is filled with dreamy space-rock that glistens and shines as much as it snaps, crackles and pops. The songs can be overflowing with thick and complex guitar swirls or awash in soft and airy synth lines. There are moments of pure pop bliss (“Walkabout”) as well as opportunities for daydreaming (“Quick Canal”). The former features the honeyed vocals of Noah Lennox (Panda Bear, Animal Collective), while Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier provides the hypnotic vocals for the latter. Cox’s own vocals are often heavily treated and the lyrics hard to decipher, ideal companions for the trippy acid-pop.
With the veritable cocktail of styles and treatments Cox plows through over the course of the album, it often seems as though he is flicking through channels with some sort of musical clicker, sometimes changing stations before you even realize what’s playing, sometimes stopping long enough to flesh out a hook. The stabilizing force being the way nothing seems forced and everything gets filtered through a tuneful funnel. Even the less structured segments flow, often playing out like a soundtrack to a psychedelic funhouse or carnival.
Mostly though, this ethereal mix of multi-layered and textured dream-pop is frothing with jangly and heavily reverbed guitars, amid shoegazing drones and electro-style beats, that displays Atlas Sound’s sense of adventure and pop experimentation while providing the listener with countless entertaining spins.
Atlas Sound: www.myspace.com/bradfordcox