Trees are in bloom, the weather is getting warmer, and it all means one thing to Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox. “Springtime is EP time!” Cox tells the Music Mix. Deerhunter’s Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP arrives May 18 digitally and June 8 in physical form, just in time for the changing seasons. Its five songs feature some of the Atlanta indie rockers’ most accessible melodies yet, outdoing even the comparatively poppy direction of last year’s excellent Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. “They’re not leftovers from Microcastle,” Cox stresses. “It’s a totally new thing.”
New things are in abundance for the ever-prolific Cox, who’s already written, oh, 43 or so fresh songs since recording the EP in February. (“Maybe 12 of them will ever get released,” he hastens to add.) “I don’t know what’s going on with my style right now,” he says. “I’ve been using lots of folky sounds, but not in a typical boring way. I’m inventing a new genre: Plastic folk.” And though no firm plans have emerged yet, Cox hopes to start working on the next proper Deerhunter LP sooner rather than later. “Why waste your time? Nobody’s going to care about us forever. You’ve got to give people something to remember you by.”
Check out a recent performance of two songs from the new EP below — then read on after the jump for Cox’s story behind each song on Rainwater Cassette Exchange.
Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP, song by song
“Rainwater Cassette Exchange”: “I wrote that by myself a long time ago, even before Microcastle, I think. I was into really simple, American stuff, doo-wop. I just got bored with experimental music, ’cause I thought everybody was doing the same thing with it.”
“Disappearing Ink”: “I had nothing to do with that except the lyrics. I made [my bandmates] write that one by themselves. I was like, ‘You guys are probably getting tired of me writing all the songs.’ We tried to jam a little bit, and we’re not a jam band. I was like, ‘F— this, I’m gonna go home and I’m gonna watch The Simpsons. You guys don’t leave til you’ve written an awesome song, and email it to me when you’re done.’ So I’m watching The Simpsons marathon-style — I was watching the entire 17th season all at once — and at 3 o’clock in the morning I get an email with an attached file, and it was ‘Disappearing Ink.'”
“Famous Last Words”: “I wrote that one all by myself in one 5-minute burst. I just did it one night in my bedroom. It sounds identical to the demo.”
“Game of Diamonds”: “That’s a good collaborative one. I’m into Neil Young right now, [and] Bob Dylan. It’s comforting, you know? I was interested in seeing if the band could experiment in that folk territory. It really worked out well. Josh [Fauver], our bass player, put down the bass and played piano really well on that. I played a lap steel that my dad built me. That’s our American folk jam. Very homey, organic.”
“Circulation”: “Moses [Archuleta], our drummer, wrote that song, and he’s never written a song before. We had our friend make this weird video collage that we took the audio from for the outro. It sounds like a Magazine song or something.”
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Best indie rock albums of all time: Battle of the lists!
Papercuts’ “You Can Have What You Want”: Stream this indie gem here