Deerhunter – “Monomania”
In Endless Playlist, Treble’s staff helps you stock your own playlists by highlighting the best new tracks to come across our desks, laptops and ipods each week.
The best song on Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest, Lockett Pundt’s soaring shoegazer epic “Desire Lines,” offered an aesthetic not entirely new to the Atlanta band, but presented in a different way. Melodic, densely layered, powerful without being blunt or overly aggressive — “Desire Lines” was Deerhunter as a perfectly actualized ideal. “Monomania,” the first track to be released from the group’s upcoming album of the same name, doesn’t immediately appear to bear the same subtle intrigue. For starters, it’s a lot noisier — “Monomania” is essentially a garage rock song, bathed in static and distortion and opening with piercing shrieks of feedback. It’s aggressive and confrontational in a way that “Desire Lines” never was.
Yet, upon closer inspection, the two songs bear many more similarities than there might appear at first glance. For starters, amid all the noise and chaos, there’s a damn good melody underneath. And within 52 seconds, the song seems to grow into something much greater than the piercing qualities that characterize its first verse. But most stunning of all is its thrashing coda, which finds Bradford Cox chanting the title over and over again, with guitars criss-crossing and escalating, reaching new peaks of abrasive transcendence. It’s pop-perfect songwriting under the auspice of aural provocation.[found on Monomania, 4AD; out May 7 (pre-order)]
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.