On the 18th of January, Deerhunter returned from a four-year dry spell to grace fans with Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared, the latest addition to their ever-growing discography.
Given that Deerhunter has been active for nearly two decades, you’d expect the band’s sound to be set in stone, yet their 8th album has proved to be as consistently unpredictable as those before it. ‘Garage rock’ ‘indie pop’ ‘ambient punk’ and ‘art rock’ are just some of the few subgenres used by a thesaurus brandishing journalist to describe the band. The dynamic nature of their sound is probably what has provided the band with such longevity- a fact also reflected in the ever-changing line-up of Deerhunter itself, with the founder Bradford Cox and multi-instrumentalist Moses Archuleta constituting the only two continual members since the band’s formation.
Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared has added another string to band’s ever-growing musical bow, with opening harpsichord-heavy track ‘Death In Midsummer’ perfectly illustrating the tone the rest of the album takes, which could cautiously be labelled as psychedelic pop-punk. ‘Disappeared’ is exactly the sort of hazy album you’d listen to on a summer road trip, yet is underpinned by melancholic lyrics which draws listeners back to the sombre reality Cox feels we exist in- ‘What happens to people?/ What happened to you?/ What happens to people? They fade out of view.’
A little quieter and undoubtedly more understated than Deerhunter’s past endeavours Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared is nonetheless more powerful for it. If you’re able to drag your focus away from the hypnotising ambience of the albums sound, the melancholy lyrics Cox delivers are just as mesmerising.