Bradford Cox, who has been recording music as Atlas Sound since he was a young teenager, seems to be exorcising a number of past (and present) demons through his music. Both his band, Deerhunter, and his solo music as Atlas Sound can be explosively abrasive, or soothingly ambient, with a hazy, psychedelic wash filtering it into its final form. Here, on his first full-length release as Atlas Sound (where he traded in a 4-track for a computer and some slick software), Cox takes the more delicate approach. An intense shoegaze effect permeates Let the Blind ..., coated the project in a sort of narcoticized emotional veneer. The beautiful ache of “Recent Bedroom” is palpable, with its circling guitars and angelic vocals; the shimmery ambience on “Cold As Ice” raises goose bumps even as it soothes; “Small Horror” moves at a glacial, Sigur Rós pace, an elegiac tribute to longing and loneliness; the drugged-out surf guitar is a perfect expression of Cox’ swooning affection for the subject in “Ativan.” Helplessly eavesdropping as Cox works through the growing pains of adolescence and budding adulthood with admirable determination, we get the feeling that everything’s gonna be all right.
A Ghost Story
Cold As Ice
Ready, Set, Glow
Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel