Atlas Sound Will Get Noisy at Heritage Hall
New-wave indie icon Bradford Cox will be performing under the title of his soft-core solo act, Atlas Sound, this Saturday at Heritage Hall. We should note now that the one man looping pedal outfit is in no way connected to the locally popular hip-hop act, Atlas Soundtrack.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert is free of charge to students (thanks to the organizers, SOMA) with a valid ID, on a first come first serve basis.
Cox rose to hipster fame while fronting the psychedelic shoe-gaze four-piece, Deerhunter. (We should also note that the ambient Atlanta-based Deerhunter, is in no way connected to Casey Crescenzo’s progressive rock project, The Dear Hunter.) Deerhunter’s most recent release, 2010’s self-produced album Halcyon Digest, received a 9.2 on Pitchfork and epitomizes the imaginative composition of unique harmonies and cryptic lyricism that Cox is capable of.
However, Cox decided to ditch the creative clunkiness of a full band and start recording his more introspective work under the guise of Atlas Sound–a name ripped from the brand name of the tape deck Cox used to produce the creative tracks he has effortlessly pumped out since high school. When I say effortlessly, I mean it.
Like Lil’ Wayne’s (yes, I’m going there) “stream of consciousness” philosophy to music–where lyrics aren’t written but born from this (obviously promethazine-induced) Kantian muse–Cox uses unwritten poetic free thoughts rather than meticulously crafted wordplay as the lyrical accompaniment to his music.
The whimsical pop riffs and 1980’s new wave repetitious bass lines closely resemble the musical melodrama of indie acts like Panda Bear while Atlas Sound’s eccentric use of unworldly synth samples pays homage to the pioneers of obscurity, Animal Collective.
A main cause of attraction for seeing Cox’s solo act live is the fact that such a big sound of rich tones and arching acoustics can be achieved with the use of one man’s musical ingenuity. Employing loop pedals, Cox spices up catchy guitar riffs with reinvented, psychedelic appeal. His signature croon is heavily inundated with reverb and echos effects that could confuse listeners into believing Cox’s voice has hi-jacked their inner monologue.
The technological revolution hasn’t left Atlas Sound behind but bolstered its style into something reminiscent of The Beatles during their experiments with hallucinogens.
Also taking the stage this Saturday is female vocal duo, Tutlie, of West Chester and Pittsburgh’s mellow folk act Costello and the Cool Minors.
The dream pop act Tutlie played alongside multi-instrumentalists Cuddle Magic last semester and drew rave reviews from the crowd. Repetitious electronic indie serves as the backdrop to the groups distinctly contrasting vocal temperatures.
Blues-inspired piano plays calmly under the raspy yet ringing vocals of Costello and the Cool Minors. Their Neil Young inspiration shines through the raw acoustics and rootsy story-telling lyricism.
Atlas Sound is the type of underground music that Penn State is desperately in need of to ignite the counter culture art scene. However, they’re not fringe enough to scare away the amateur music fan. Like the cult icons of the poor comeback album and web-series, Devo (the dudes who did “Whip It“), there’s “something for everybody”
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