ALBUM REVIEW: Destroyer – Have We Met
BEST TRACKS: The Raven, Crimson Tide
FCC Violations: Crimson Tide, The Television Music Supervisor, Cue Synthesizer, Foolssong
If you follow Dan Bejar, you probably know that he is a cherished member of indie pop band The New Pornographers, but what you might not know is that Dan Bejar is also the centerpiece of a much moodier rock project, Destroyer. Destroyer recently released an album Have We Met, which earned a whopping 8.5 on Pitchfork, so I was intrigued. When listening to music, I try not to take the album art into consideration but please bear with me as I comment on album art just this one time. I am a very visual person, and am often drawn to albums based solely on enticing album art. I hate when album covers are just a closeup, artsy picture of the artist. It’s just so average and seems very self-absorbed to me. After seeing Have We Met’s boring album cover, I almost didn’t listen to the album but I’m glad I did.
Bejar’s singing style, especially on the 5th track ‘The Raven’, sometimes morphs into a very intimate talking-singing-mumble akin to Jeffrey Lewis’ on the album A Turn in the Dream Songs. The instruments on this album are fairly minimal and simple, emphasizing mostly guitar and electronic keyboard, but the music is far from basic. The solemn, sometimes scattered notes create an exquisitely spooky, chilling atmosphere. Have We Met is dark, eerie, and weird. In fact, Bejar has said that he was influenced by the Twilight Zone and Edgar Allen Poe during the creation of this album. When I listen to this album, I immediately imagine it as the soundtrack to an art gallery exhibit in the MOMA filled with weird, abstract, smooth and spiky black sculptures. Listen to this album if you ever went through a phase where you were obsessed with misty graveyards, the Victorian era, and the supernatural.