HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

21 May 2012

Destroyer - 'City of Daughters' (Tinker/Cave Canem)

I don't have the privilege of seeing the Soundscan figures, but I'd guess that latest Destroyer album at the time of this writing, Kaputt, had to be his biggest selling. Maybe I should actually say biggest 'hit' because popularity probably has little connection these days to actually 'moving units' or whatever they used to say. I feel like everywhere I go nowadays, I encounter some kid playing it through laptop speakers. Good for Bejar, cause he's been churning out great music for a long time and I'm happy for him to find an audience, even if I'm personally yet to click with KaputtCity of Daughters is from the other end of his career - it's not his first album but his first really good one. This is almost as stripped-down as his debut, based mostly around acoustic guitar and voice, though with some Emax synthesiser interludes and a nice backing band here and there. The Emax interludes aren't just filler - 'Emax II' is a lovely bit of electroacoustic residue.  It's tough for me to write about Destroyer as I find him to be the Canadian indie-rock reincarnation of Wallace Stevens - difficult as all-fuck to 'explain' but more than easy to be moved by. The musical cadences are the bonus that Mr. Bejar has over Mr. Stevens, so there's added non-meaning through emphasis and catchiness. For example, 'I Want This Cyclops' is a wonderful jaunty ride, but it's something about two sisters on a plane and an actual saskwatch with one eye, and the fuck if I can figure it out. But that's modernism at it's best - I can put my own meaning into things, and I've done that a lot. Maybe I just like singing along about the 'new heretical dawn'. Did I mention I love Destroyer? I've been immersed in his work since Streethawk: A Seduction, which we'll get to soon enough on the CD blog, and I've always seen City of Daughters, Thief, and Streehawk as a trilogy even though there's not much to link them besides a similar sound in the backing bands (though the lineups aren't consistent). This is a less ambitious Destroyer - before the big production of This Night, the midi experiments of Your Blues, the temporary 'return to form' of Rubies and of course Kaputt's 80's disco coke gloss. But again, what makes these records so different? The lyrics are always great, so it really comes down to my own personal tastes - I like the simplicity of songs like 'School, And the Girls Who Go There' more - they're somewhere in-between coffeeshop troubadour and indie pick-up band. Jennifer's halter top is a consecrated altar, after all. Like Queen, he actually saved the title track for his next album. This also has 'No Cease Fires! (Crimes Against the State of Our Love, Baby)' which should have been a smash hit anthem in an alternate universe (how many times do I type those words in these pages?). It's a confident record, a real portrait of a Canadian 1996 at least as I imagine it, and the start of something great.

No comments:

Post a Comment