Friday, September 10, 2010
[pitchfork.com] The black-and-white video for Deerhunter's "Helicopter", from the band's forthcoming full-length Halcyon Digest, features frontman Bradford Cox mouthing the song's lyrics directly into the camera, as obscured, static-coated footage is layered on top of his face. It's not the most creative idea for a video, but the visual juxtaposition of the straightforward and the vague fits the band's constantly evolving aesthetic very well: shimmering pop melodies couched in plenty of headswimming atmospherics and noise.
"Helicopter" is the latest realization of that aesthetic, with a slow, dreamy structure far removed from the stuck-on-the-dial pop swagger of Halcyon Digest's first single, "Revival". The version of the song below is roughly 90 seconds shorter than how it appears on the record, but you can still get a feel for this thing easily, as those tinkling, sugar-sweetened opening notes quickly give way to a valley of shoegazed reverb, evoking the genre's sense of ambience and erotic confusion. Cox's voice has never been more clear-sounding and pristine, as he shares evocative lyrics about faith ("Could you pray for us/ We know he loves you the best") and isolation ("No one cares for me/ I keep no company"). He doesn't remain untouched for very long, though, as a cacophony of ambient sounds and watery noise creeps up and overtakes him near the song's end. Ugly beauty: Very few are doing it as well as these guys.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 11:05 PM