Review Summary: Destroyer provide the soundtrack to a dream; a near-perfect Indie Pop album basked in euphoria and melody.5 of 5 thought this review was well written
Oh Canada! What would become of Indie without its centre for production, and seemingly endless source of ‘the new Arcade Fires'; Canada. Yes, it seems this decade in Indie-Rock has been dominated by Pitchfork's favourite country, seeing the birth and popularisation of Broken Social Scene
, Wolf Parade
and the aforementioned success story The Arcade Fire
. The scene might have only briefly encountered major chart success, but what a great contrast to see such bands do well commercially, after a 90’s dominated by throwaway pop/rock groups.
So, enter Daniel Bejar and his brainchild Destroyer
with their latest album 'Destroyer's Rubies
', who although formed back in 1995 have only garnered serious interest in the last 5 years. The bands unique sound is really quite difficult to describe, but think catchy yet poignant chord progressions laced with luscious guitar melodies, all the while acting as a backdrop to Bejar's hypnotic vocals and poetic sprawl. Sounds good doesn't it? But that's the kind of vibe this album has, it's sense of euphoria is the one thing which pervades the tracks from start to finish, with occasional lashings of feedback and overdriven chords only to make the quiet moments that little bit more special.
Listening to 'Destroyer's Rubies
' is quite the journey. Beginning unusually on a 9 minute track which never seems to get to the point, we are quickly relieved by a few succinct pop numbers, before once again meandering off into Bejar's dream-like vision. Sometimes it's this lack of destination which is so attractive to listen to, like a traveller backpacking across Europe Bejar doesn’t seem to have a plan, but following his instincts he somehow finds himself in some of the most beautiful places imaginable. 'A Dangerous Woman Up To A Point
' provides the perfect example of this as it kicks off with a steady rhythm, before the lyrics seem to spiral off the page as Bejar exclaims;
“Froze on Union Street, it was springtime, I was just a kid lost in a map of the stars others called 'your eyes.”
Bejar once described his bands sound as ‘european blues’ which whilst I’ve never thought the most useful description, does refer to some noticeable blues influence throughout. The guitar and piano parts seem to noodle their way through the tracks, every so often remembering that they are part of an album track, and not some loose jam session taking place in a basement somewhere. This sparse approach to song structure is evident in one of the albums highlights, 'European Oils
' which is easilly the most direct and straightforward indie-pop track on the album. The backing vocals (as used a number of times on the album) once again create a sense of euphoria, whilst the irresistable vocals and expressions bring real passion and conviction to the words.
, then, prooves to be not only one the most exciting releases of 2006, but also one of the great releases of the decade. Best summarised by it's dreamy vocals and melodic instrumentation Daniel Bejar creates a sound like no other, and adds to an ever impressive C.V including his work with The New Pornographers
and Swan Lake
. It's taken Bejar a number of years to reach the stage he's at now, but perhaps in years to come they can extend on this and release the definitive 'classic record' that he's capable of.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5