Bradford Cox has spoiled us stupid. Last year, on top of releasing the awesome Halcyon Digest with Deerhunter, the prolific Atlanta-based indie rocker’s Atlas Sound project dropped the four-volume Bedroom Databank collection. For free, no less! While its track listing isn’t as monstrous as last year’s 49-song package, Atlas Sound’s latest disc, Parallax, finds Cox’s tastes just as expansive.
True, “Mona Lisa” popped up twice on Bedroom Databank, but the jangly tune, with its Byrds-style 12-string licks, plays slightly harder with its newly driving backbeat. “Te Amo” also revisits the oscillated synth and electric-piano washes of previously released instrumental “Afternoon Drive”, but Cox’s love-struck vocal addition (“We will go to sleep and we will have the same dream”) brings the variation to new, swooning heights.
Even if you skip the familiar sounds, there’s still plenty of treasures on Parallax. The title cut masterfully meshes ’50s-style sock-hop pop with dizzying, whirling dervish electro squelches, while the distant smooth-jazzkeyboards and subtle six-string strums of “Terra Incognita” hover like a drunken, desert-island daydream. The reverb-heavy lite-rocker “Lightworks” caps the collection dreamily.
While he occasionally revisits past work for Parallax, the rest of the set assures that Cox’s inspiration hasn’t dried up yet.