Beginning with a recording of a child talking about ghosts, the album materializes with a gradually overdubbed wave of electronic, jangling atmospherics. This escalates until the child's voice is eclipsed; fading from audibility. The rising aural tide proceeds giving way to the laid-back dreamy shuffle of Recent Bedroom. Quarentine’s chimey, synthetic vibraphones; rich, soothing bass line and velvety backing vocals provide a marked and pleasing contrast to the percussive crashing of shakers, rides and drum fills.
The heavily time-processed Ativan, with its surfy guitar and tambourine accented beat, plays like some British-invasion-era jam in an arena-sized echo chamber. This saccharine current continues with the faintly throbbing, heart-beat-like pulse of Winter Vacation and the drum-less On Guard, whose soothing liquified synths evoke the cliché of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
Close to half of the songs are sans-drums, including the title track which rounds out the lot. By far my favorite piece on the album, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel inundates with a profusion of fragrant sonics. Church organs, synthesized pads, vibraphones and guitar distortion melt together into a sweet deluge that washes over; enveloping the listener in a haze of ambient bliss. This unraveling, this fade into entropy, is an altogether fitting end to an album that seemingly materializes out of thin air- the whole thing could be an aberation of the small child at the beginning telling ghost stories.
Another gem from a guy who seems to be only just beginning to hit his creative stride. Be sure to check out the latest Deerhunter: Microcastles/Weird Era Continued as well. Out now on Kranky.