Published Jan 15, 2019Named after the late French author Jean Baudrillard's 2007 book, Deerhunter's eighth full-length arrives with a lot of the same existential uncertainty we're all suffering from right now.
Billed as "a science fiction album about the present," the band fittingly recorded a large portion of Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? in the desolate, forgotten town of Marfa, Texas, fresh off some improvisational recording sessions Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox did with avant-pop savant Cate Le Bon and her DRINKS partner Tim Presley.
With Le Bon involved, Deerhunter found new inspiration and an opportunity to explore uncharted territory, resulting in the exotic, Japanese-tinged synths of "Détournement," Lockett Pundt's "Tarnung," which leans heavily on vibraphone and sax, and some jarring vocal edits on closer "Nocturne."
However, by retaining the help of regular collaborator Ben Allen, Deerhunter have also turned in some of the most accessible work they've done to date. "Death in Midsummer" is textbook Deerhunter, using guitar noise and a waltzing harpsichord to battle the anxiety of living in a fading world, while "Element" and "Futurism" express a blissfulness we've rarely heard from them. But the finest moment comes courtesy of James Dean's ghost, which haunts the ebullient "Plains," a song that sought energetic guidance from Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know."
In the press release for Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? it questions the relevance of an album in today's algorithmic world; Deerhunter shouldn't be concerned with such things. They continue to look forward and create music that feels unlike anything else out there. This one is no exception: it's the perfect antidote for these bleak, modern times. (4AD)