Guilford Avenue Bridge
USA I - Is a Monster
USA II - The Great American Desert
USA III - Rail
USA IV - Manifest
Dan Deacon's electronic music works many different angles, far beyond what many similar artists consider their realm. The Baltimore chopper slices and dices his influences with irreverence, and America—his first album for the estimable independent label Domino—isn't afraid of getting tangled up in difficult emotions. "Guilford Avenue Bridge" sets the tone; it's an ambient instrumental that neither settles as wallpaper nor kicks up to raging ecstasy. Indie pop underpins the high-energy romp "True Thrush," while "Lots" and "Crash Jam" come closest to the pure mania most listeners associate with 21st-century electro-pop. With "Prettyboy," sounds start to boil over with a sense that something big and rather ominous is coming. And it arrives. The four-part "USA" series features a mix of programmed and live instruments that create an orchestral suite beyond anyone's expectations. "USA II: The Great American Desert" is a rumbling and tumbling epic with beats that flutter to and fro. Dan Deacon proves that electronic music can still be affected by a human touch.