Posts Tagged ‘Have We Met’

Dan Bejar’s Destroyer returned with their new album “Have We Met” via Merge Records. Have We Met caps off an arc begun almost a decade ago, when Dan Bejar released his landmark album Kaputt and entered the most accessible, acclaimed, yet no less eccentric chapter of his career. Informed by the claustrophobic atmosphere of our times, Have We Met is cerebral and absurd even by Bejar’s standards. Bizarre scenes and non-sequiturs abound. Bejar often sounds like a man slowly unravelling over greyscale, icy synth backdrops. But in the epic swell of “Crimson Tide,” was the first I heard from this album and is an immediate Destroyer classic! the new wave pulse of “It Doesn’t Just Happen,” or the sneakily catchy refrains of “The Man In Black’s Blues,” Bejar crafted apocalypse music that’s every bit as transporting as it is discomfiting.

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“Have We Met” settles into disquieting grooves and atmospheres by employing the sounds of 80s soft rock and adult contemporary in ways that often feel slightly off-kilter. However, while Dan Bejar may twist a traditionally comfortable sonic palette, it is never distorted to the point of being abrasive or unapproachable. Furthermore, his lyrics may grimly reckon with the ending of things hope, love, and life as we know it

Released January 31st, 2020
The Band:
Dan Bejar: vox, synthesizer
Nicolas Bragg: guitar
John Collins: bass, synthesizer, drum programming, granular synthesis

Destroyer

Destroyer has shared a video for “foolssong,” the closer of Have We Met. It was directed by David Galloway and David Ehrenreich and shot on the road during Destroyer’s most recent tour, which was called off early due to the coronavirus.

“The tour got cancelled. We were making a film. Maybe we still are, it’s hard to tell, though,” Galloway and Ehrenreich said in a statement. “‘foolssong’ is what’s left of that for now…. With any luck, these alien landscapes provide only a temporary snapshot of an unfamiliar world, a glimpse into a future that denotes self-separation, isolation, but on the bright side, maybe a little bit more wonder.”

Snow Day. At this very peculiar time, the expression “Have We Met” deserves a question mark less than ever. We likely haven’t met anyone new since March, and the cadence of this statement is more of an absolute than an actual inquiry. The tour got cancelled. We were making a film. Maybe we still are, it’s hard to tell, though. “foolssong” is what’s left of that for now. “foolssong” is a lullaby, it’s the painted book cover of a sinister romantic novel, and it’s our second favourite song on the album.

Packing up mid-stride and pushing through North America to find solace in quarantine is a pretty foreign experience.
With any luck, these alien landscapes provide only a temporary snapshot of an unfamiliar world, a glimpse into a future that denotes self-separation, isolation, but on the bright side, maybe a little bit more wonder.

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Destroyer Have We Met'

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Destroyer Have We Met'

I just finished listening to the new Destroyer record, Dan Bejar’s most recent release, “Have We Met” the new wave synthpop sound really gets around–even Dan Bejar’s dreamy, chamber goth has decided to evoke the Eighties in all its upbeat, mall food court ambiance. Except instead of enticing you to eat crusty Panda Express, he’s urging listeners to ponder the curse of silence, song structure and his tribute to an imaginary tribute to a Poesian Raven. Much credit must be given to his somber “It Just Doesn’t Happen” as the point where my mind switched from “oh, this is interesting” to “oh, this is worth listening.” As his higher register expands an Overton window that includes Neil Young, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, it’s fait accompli that his music is always on my short list of must explore–his complex conceits contrasting well with the simple musicality on this record. Bejar could hardly ask for more..

From the album “Have We Met,” Released January 31st, 2020

Destroyer ‘Have We Met’ LP

Indie-rock’s modern crooners, Destroyer, have released the anthemic lead single “Crimson Tide” from their forthcoming album, “Have We Met”. The song is rife with singer Dan Bejar’s elegant ramblings and comes with a surrealist music video that’s as invigorating as the song itself. “Crimson Tide” is Destroyer’s first release since 2017’s Ken but shows the outfit continuing down the electronic tone their past record set. It opens with a deep bass line and choral synths, setting the stage for Bejar’s lyrical waltz. In his trademark stream-of-consciousness delivery, he delivers witty quips—odd as they are charming. He sounds delightfully disheveled as he sings, “When lightning strikes twice the funeral goes completely insane.”

‘Have We Met’, as Dan Bejar puts it, “came together in such a crazy way – all equal parts ecstasy and terror.” Initially conceived (but quickly ditched) as a Y2K album, Bejar was without a clear concept in mind. So he let it all rip while brainstorming at home. Culled from years’ worth of saved writing, set aside for projects “beyond music” and recorded at his kitchen table, ‘Have We Met’ harkens back to ‘Kaputt’-era Dan stringing together lyrics off hand while lounging on his couch. The resulting vocal sound exists in the sweet spot between two Destroyer worlds colliding: hints of the past, more strident Destroyer mixed in with a relaxed, new-aged Crooning one.
No re-recording. No cleaning up. Frequent collaborator John Collins was tasked with the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over a stream-of-consciousness Bejar, as Nic Bragg added “completely unexpected and somehow comforting” three- dimensional, shredding guitar. The Destroyer band-orientated approach was shelved; “The record could have gone on and on, and the mixes kept evolving up until about a day before we sent them off to be mastered, which was also 48 hours before John and his wife went to the birthing centre, where their first child was born; our true deadline!” says Bejar.

On ‘The Television Music Supervisor’, trickling keys, glitches and ‘clickity click clicks’ (a variation on the standard Bejar ‘la da das’) focuses on how those who dictate our relationships with music and media are susceptible to error, a most 21st Century concern.
Perhaps the most audacious Destroyer track yet, ‘Cue Synthesizer’ steps back to address the rote and often-detached mechanics of music. Up next, the waltzy and woozy centrepiece ‘University Hill’ drifts even further and applies that logic more broadly, insisting “the game is rigged in every direction” and “you’re made of string.”
Thirteen albums in, ‘Have We Met’ manages to meet somewhere between trademarks and new territory – atmospheric approximations of feeling and place, wry gut-punches of one liners and the deluge of energy meets a thematic catharsis of modern dread, delivered with an effortless, entrancing directness. No need to expound any further – he’s got it all spelled out for you in the music.

From the album “Have We Met,” out January 31st, 2020.

Destroyer Tour

Dan Bejar returns in January with his latest album,Have We Met”, which he’ll support with an extensive 2020 tour.

Destroyer came to be when, in 1996, Dan Bejar released the influential lo-fi compilation “We’ll Build Them a Golden Bridge”. Despite the poor sound quality of the recordings on the album, it managed to garner critical success thanks to its catchy melodies and Bejar’s use of obscure and sometimes downright confusion lyricism.

The follow-up, 1998’s “City of Daughters”, saw Bejar joined by John Collins. who complimented the record, and noted that it still managed to sound “homespun” despite the fact that the band had used a professional recording studio this time. Also praised was the return of Bejar’s trademark poetry, something which would become a recognisable constant throughout the band’s later output.

In 2000, they released “Thief”, an album which saw them attempt to deliver their trademark songwriting style with the help of a backing band. The album’s lyrics, many believe, conveyed Bejar’s thinly-veiled feelings of the music industry. Again, the album received generally positive reviews from major outlets.

Since then, the band has continued to progress as an entity; first by developing their character sound with “Streethawk: A Seduction” in 2001, and then returned to their roots with the rougher-sounding “This Night” in 2002. The album was mixed in less than a week and polarised critics, although Bejar himself credits it as being his favorite Destroyer record.

Many of the band’s diverse and unique influences have managed to make their impact on Destroyer releases, including Miles Davis and Roxy Music. Over the span of their nearly twenty-year career, this has allowed them to produce wildly different and adventurous works, while still managing to keep them firmly tied in to Destroyer’s philosophy and style.

From the album “Have We Met,” out January 31st, 2020.