Atlas Sound recruits members of Animal Collective, Stereolab for new effort

9 07 2009

by Jill Menze (@JillMenze)

Deerhunter at Noise Pop 2009, photo by Adam Planas

Deerhunter at Noise Pop 2009, photo by Adam Planas

Atlas Sound, the side project of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox, scored a sleepy hit with last year’s debut, “Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel.” Now the ever-prolific Cox is back with its follow-up, “Logos,” due Oct. 20 via Kranky. While “Blind” offered lush, ambient soundscapes from the intimacy of Cox’s bedroom, he promises the new effort is not the same, this time opting to collaborate with members of Animal Collective and Stereolab. Our inbox this morning found a nice note from Cox describing the album, posted in full, along with the tracklist, after the jump.

“My last album was a bedroom laptop type thing. Very introverted. Logos is an album that was recorded all over the world. It’s not about me. There are collaborations with other musicians. The lyrics are not autobiographical. The view is a lot more panoramic and less close-up. I became bored with introspection. This was also the case Deerhunter’s ‘Microcastle’ LP, which was written during the same period.

I started recording December of 2007. I recorded the first version of the album, which was not intended for release. Due to some unfortunate mistakes on my part, this “sketch” of the album was leaked. Many of the songs where simply “placeholders,” songs I created quickly to help design the “arc” of the album.

I did not react well to the leak, in retrospect. It became the kind of internet-fueled drama that I was quickly learning to despise. I had always desired to speak through music, not blog posts and interviews, etc. I considered abandoning the project.

I toured for a period in Europe with Animal Collective, whose band dynamic was very inspirational to be around. On the bus, we often played improvised iPod games. We would take turns formulating a theme or unifying concept and then play three songs. The goal would be for everyone to try and figure out the theme. During one of these games, someone played “What Am I Going to Do” by the Dovers. I was amazed at the hook – a weird organ thing with drums and electric bass. I mentioned to Noah that someone should really sample that riff. He agreed and he taught me a little about sampling and matching up beats. This ended up as the collaborative effort “Walkabout.”

Each song on the album has a similar story. That might be my favorite thing about the album. It’s a collection of songs. There is no “filler.” There are little scrapbook details everywhere. Sasha Vine [of Sian Alice Group] provided a double-tracked improvised violin part to “Attic Lights” which was recorded backstage at a Deerhunter / Sian Alice Group show in Brighton. It might be my favorite moment of the album. I played it for some younger friends of mine. They cringed. They wanted more songs like “Walkabout.” Something with a big beat. I told them when they get older they will appreciate things like harmonicas and violins more.

Laetitia from Stereolab, who i idolized as a teenager and would later befriend on tour, contributed words and vocals to “Quick Canal.” The song was originally about 15 minutes long. I had zero ideas for vocals and asked if she could give it a shot. Andy Ramsay [Drummer for Stereolab] took a dub of the original and recorded Laetitia’s vocals at his press play studio in London. It was quite a treat to hear the finished product, now at an economical 9 minutes.

Almost everything you hear on the album is a first take. This makes it almost like a “live album” where a band sets up in a studio and just rolls tape. There are songs on here I don’t even remember recording.”

Bradford Cox
Marietta, Georgia
July 4, 2009

Track listing:

1. The Light That Failed
2. An Orchid
3. Walkabout (w/ Noah Lennox)
4. Criminals
5. Attic Lights
6. Shelia
7. Quick Canal (w/ Laetitia Sadier)
8. My Halo
9. Kid Klimax
10. Washington School
11. Logos




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