It’s Deerhunter’s world, and we’re just living in it. Wouldn’t you agree? They’ve taken us on a tour of some of the most genre-defying pop over the past ten or so years, not infrequently running the gamut from touchingly emotive to brazenly noisy in the span of a single album (see: Cryptograms, Monomania). So… are they an alternative rock band? Are they an art-rock band? Are they an indie pop band? It depends on what they’re in the mood for, really, since they’ve got the chops to be any of those, or something else completely.
Fading Frontier veers away from the angular garage rock of 2013’s Monomania in favor of the more textural, electronic sounds of 2010’s Halcyon Digest. Sonically, Fading Frontier is perhaps even the anti-Monomania, which makes sense given lead singer Bradford Cox’s recent admission on Pitchfork that Monomania “was a very hateful record”, but he and his bandmates seem to be in a much more peaceful state of mind, now.
Fading Frontier dabbles in electro-funk (“Snakeskin”) and dreamy, playful pop (the hopelessly catchy “Duplex Planet”), but where it really seems to find its stride are the understated tracks, like lead single “Living My Life”. Will you tell me when you find out/How to conquer all this fear/I’ve been spending too much time out/On the fading frontier croons Cox, peacefully.
Cox compares the lightness of Fading Frontier to the first day of spring after a harsh winter. The album is also akin to that first moment right after waking up — when the memories and responsibilities of yesterday haven’t yet come to light and the world feels so full of hope and possibility.
Fading Frontier is available now from 4AD. Watch the video for “Living My Life” below.