Atlas Sound is one Bradford Cox, originally from Marietta, GA. An enigmatic musical figure that has been sharing his skewed versions of various forms of pop music with the world since starting Deerhunter in 2001. He’s been involved in so many projects over the years that it has been hard for me to keep track. Upon further research, Atlas Sound is actually his first musical project, he started it as a 6th grader way back in 1994. While staying busy with Deerhunter and making his acting debut in the wonderful “Dallas Buyer’s Club in 2013, this solo moniker continues to be the receiver of most of his energies when “I have ideas that I can't make work with a five piece rock band...” and we all appear to be better off for it. This is more modern classic pop music, as I am generally wont to describe and write about here at Drops of Gold. As you listen, the elements of various genres and decades float past like exhibits on a ride at the coolest musical museum ever. I really wish that existed. He’s admitted that his songwriting process is largely from his stream of consciousness, which I think is audibly apparent. The songs have a structure but the arrangements do seem to float on those bones, changing at their master's whim. Much of his composition seems to rely on the use of interesting effects, taking familiar sounds into new sonic territory -- it is where the magic happens.
A song like Te Amo, sounds like it must have started when Cox figured out he could make these sweet arpeggios with whatever cool new pedal he found for his guitar. As these patterns begin to loop and swirl, more sounds enter the picture, percussion loops and blankets of muted synth tones. His melodic yelp grows more passionate as the song progresses with his dreamy lyrics, “Pretend you know the way out of the trap, and we will go to sleep, and we'll have the same dream.” It almost sounds like a male version of Bjork at times. His latest release from 2011, Parallax, on 4AD records is definitely worth a listen.
Bradford was hit by a car in Atlanta in December of last year. He posted photos from the hospital and is apparently recovering currently. His instagram feed and other social media have been silent since then. Let's hope his Huichica performance marks a triumphant return to the stage. UPDATE 6/1/2015: Atlas Sound has cancelled the performance.