Dan Deacon is a Baltimore native who, for most of his career, has made records of unbridled electronic fuzz that sound like they’ve been made at a riot in a disco. His music’s a lot calmer nowadays, thanks to his interest in classical composition, but also to the thinking time afforded by long tours around the USA. He’s thrown all of his fresh talents and observations at America, which just about manages to capture the contradictions that make up the country’s psyche.
The album’s first five tracks hum along at Deacon’s usual warp speed, but still manage a level of poignancy. In particular the skittering electronics in ‘True Thrush’ evoke the babble of the commuter rush, above which Deacon’s hopeful lyrics take flight. Things close with a Steve Reich-esque suite of four songs, across which strings and horns blast out, and beauty is allowed to fill the speakers. The album’s schizoid character is wonderfully suited to its source material, and though the whole is not quite sophisticated enough to be a masterpiece, America is still a great ride. Jonny Ensall