Atlas Sound is the solo moniker of Deerhunter frontman/provocateur Bradford Cox, so named since 1994, when a sixth-grade Bradford made recordings on a karaoke cassette machine bearing the words âAtlas Soundâ.
Though it was Coxâs earliest musical incarnation, it wasnât until 2008 that the first Atlas Sound album emerged, Let The Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel. The genesis of the record can be traced back to those sixth-grade musical experiments; a time when he discovered through reading a Beck interview that his familyâs disused karaoke machine could be used as a rudimentary multi-tracking device. As Coxâs tirelessly updated blog attests, with its caverns of freely available covers, demos and mixtapes, such recording processes are central to his music, colouring the intimate feel of Atlas Sound in a manner more apparent than when writing under the guise of Deerhunter.
If its predecessor was a record of fragile beauty and acute experimentalism that spoke of its bedroom genesis, the second Atlas Sound album, Logos, arrived in 2009 with a far more rooted pop sensibility. Featuring collaborations with Animal Collectiveâs Noah Lennox and Laetitia Sadler of Stereolab, the album expanded on the often-insular tendencies of the first Atlas Sound record, this time outward gazing and almost sunshine loving in its ebullience. Moving away from piercing introspection and towards a grand pop plateau, Cox managed to translate his music into a more universally engaging form while retaining the intimate charms of the project.
Citing the âideas that I can't make work with a five piece rock bandâ as the basis of his solo material, Coxâs work as Atlas Sound represents a feral and prolific musical voice. With its scorched beauty, stream of consciousness, and wonderfully cohesive pop narrative, Atlas Sound is another outlet for Coxâs relentless creativity, distinctly remaining the product of just one manâs vision.
Parallax, the third album from Atlas Sound, the ever expansive solo project of Bradford Cox from Deerhunter, is released in November.
All songs were written and performed by Bradford, except on ‘Mona Lisa’, where Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT) plays piano, Carrie-Anne Murphy plays saxophone on ‘The Shakes’ and Paul McPherson adds basic drums to ‘Praying Man’. All but two tracks on Parallax were recorded in June 2011 at New York’s Rare Book Room (where Cox’s band Deerhunter recorded 2009 album, Microcastle) and were produced by both Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes. ‘Terra Incognita’ and ‘Flagstaff’ were recorded and produced by just Bradford Cox in his hotel room. As such, it's a singular record, considered and poised, and further indication of Cox's ever-developing songwriting.
On the back of the release of third album Parallax last month, Atlas Sound has announced a string of North American dates in December. Starting on 14th in Durham, the tour includes two shows in New York and culminates at the Black Cat in Washington. All dates are listed below.
14th - Motorco, Durham, NC
15th - RICHMOND, VA - The National, Richmond
16th - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary, Philadelphia
17th - Bell House, Brooklyn
18th - Bowery Ballroom, New York ...