Deerhunter: Fading Frontier

Atlanta's best psychedelic crew makes a wide-ranging, elliptically pretty LP

Credit: Sebastien Dehesdin/The Hell Gate/Corbis

"I'm off the grid/I'm out of range," Deerhunter's Bradford Cox sings on his band's seventh record. Agreed: No one spaces out like these Atlanta shoegazers and masters of distracted guitar poesy. Fading Frontier follows 2013's dark-hued Monomania with a brighter, freer dream rock. It's their most eclectic album, from the pacific Sixties psych drift of "Duplex Planet" to the slurry, Blur-y "Snakeskin" to the warm synth-pop ooze of "Take Care," where Cox, who recently survived a serious car accident, advises, "Raise your crippled hand." The elliptically pretty music often summons a sense of escape and freedom that's ringed with ambiguity. On "All the Same," the guitars hover in the watery middle distance as Cox sings about the transgender epiphany of a friend's parent: "No more wife/No more kids/Nothing left to live with." For Deerhunter, life is always being lived station to station.