Destroyer - Poison Season
Indie Rock, Chamber Pop, Singer-Songwriter | MP3 CBR 320 kbps | 52:14 min | 127 MB + 5% Recovery
Label: Merge | Tracks: 13 | Rls.date: 2015
Destroyer's Poison Season opens swathed in Hunky Dory strings. Dan Bejar's a dashboard Bowie surveying four wracked characters-Jesus, Jacob, Judy, Jack-simultaneously Biblical & musical theatre. This bittersweet, Times Square-set fanfare is reprised twice more on the record-first as swaying, saxophone-stoked "street-rock" & then finally as a curtain-closing reverie.
Broadway Danny Bejar dramatically switches scenes with "Dream Lover," all Style Council strut & brassy, radio-ready bombast (echoes of The Boo Radleys' evergreen earworm "Wake Up Boo!"). This being Destroyer, its paramours-on-the-run exuberance is judiciously spiked by his deadpan delivery: "Oh shit, here comes the sun..."
Like the other DB, Mr. Bejar has long displayed a chameleonic instinct for change while maintaining a unified aesthetic (rather than just pinballing between reference points). No two records sound the same, but they're always uniquely Destroyer. His latest incarnation often appears to take sonic cues from a distinctly British (usually Scottish, to be precise) strain of sophisti-pop: you might hear traces of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Orange Juice, or The Blow Monkeys. These songs merge a casual literary brilliance with intense melodic verve, nimble arrangements, & a certain blue-eyed soul sadness.
Playfully rueful, "Sun in the Sky" foregrounds cryptic lyrical dexterity over pop-classicist strum before gradually left-fielding into rhythmically supple, delirious avant-squall. It's as if Talk Talk took over a Lloyd Cole show. Originally released on a collaborative EP with electronic maestros Tim Hecker & Loscil (the latter's drones are retained here), a retooled "Archer on the Beach" suggests Sade swimming in The Blue Nile, smooth-jazz marimba melancholy dilated by ecstatic ambience. Flecked in heady dissonance, elusively alluring, Dan hymns its eponymous "impossible raver on your death bed" while implicitly beckoning the listener: "Careful now, watch your step, in you go."
That's Poison Season in essence: familiar yet mysterious, opaquely accessible. Arch, for sure, but ultimately elevatory.
1. Times Square, Poison Season
2. Dream Lover
3. Forces from Above
5. The River
6. Girl in a Sling
7. Times Square
8. Archer On the Beach
9. Midnight Meet the Rain
10. Solace's Bride
12. Sun in the Sky
13. Times Square, Poison Season II