Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Globe Alone

Atlas Sound - Recent Bedroom
Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those That Can See But Cannot Feel

Despite originally being released on Kranky in the US earlier this year, Atlas Sound's 'Let The Blind Lead Those That Can See But Cannot Feel' has finally found its spiritual home, with this European release on 4AD. You see, Atlas Sound (the name the 25-year-old Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox has used for his solo recordings since he was at school) and 4AD are such a perfect fit it feels like it was destiny label and artist would end up together. Combining shimmering Cocteau's-esque ambient dream pop with the singular vision of Kurt Ralske's Ultra Vivid Scene (like Ralkse, Cox is responsible for every sound you hear), 'Let The Blind...' could well be the archetypal 4AD album.

As with the ubiquitous Panda Bear, to understand the experience of listening to Atlas Sound you need to first imagine yourself, stoned, immaculate, sprawled in a field at a music festival, listening to a band playing in another field, far, far away. The songs drift in and out of focus, carried in the breeze with the dandelion seeds, as Cox delivers his vocals in a sleepy reverie, like a man singing himself out of a coma. The textured nu-gaze of 'Recent Bedroom' finds the guitars at their most prominent, but most of the time the electronics take centre stage, as on the title track's warm, enveloping opiatetronica, which recalls Casino Versus Japan. 'River Card' and 'Atizan' are bittersweet dark pop songs in the vein of the aforementioned Ralske's UVS, 'Winter Vacation' and 'Scraping Past' marry tranquilised Detroit techno with snatches of looped, treated guitars, and 'Small Horror' sounds like 'Loveless' on the moon. 'Let The Blind...' is a truly wonderful thing; the perfect soundtrack to daydream the summer away.

Check out the Deerhunter blog - there is a brand new free Atlas Sound EP to download, plus loads of free MP3s, videos and various goodies!
Buy the 4AD version of 'Let The Blind Lead Those That Can See But Cannot Feel' from Norman Records, featuring a bonus CD of exclusive material.
Atlas Sound MySpace - check here for live dates - Atlas Sound are embarking on a European tour as guests of Animal Collective during May, and also appears at the Stag & Dagger festival in Shoreditch, London on 15th May 08.
Comprehensive Wikipedia entry, featuring everything you could ever possibly want to know about 'Let The Blind...'
Atlas Sound at 4AD website
Brilliant review of the Kranky release at Pitchfork