I don’t normally go for Deerhunter. I’ve listened to their past records and found them interesting as musical exercises, but wouldn’t have recommended them as actual listening material. Their new record, Fading Frontier, still has some of the flaws that come with Deerhunter material — lacking vocals or inconsistent production being great examples — but they’ve branched out and become much better songwriters.
Clearly influenced by their more dream-pop contemporaries, Fading Frontier is a step or two closer towards Beach House while still retaining the dynamics that made Deerhunter work before. But now, with the additional songwriting skills that come with both experimentation and experience, Deerhunter are putting those dynamics to better work.
From the opening track, it’s clear that Fading Frontier is a better record than what’s come before. It’s got more structure, better hooks, and more memorable melodies. This is a better Deerhunter in every way, and it’d be a shame if you missed it.