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Alternative & Indie - Released January 31, 2020 | Dead Oceans

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
The most astonishing thing about this thirteenth album from Destroyer is its transformation. Strangely, from the first few notes of Crimson Tide, it seems to evoke Suicide Demo For Kara Walker from Kaputt, and even The Laziest River that appears on its vinyl version. There are drawn out notes, luminous progressions and synths which are more pop than ambient. Unsurprising as production was done by John Collins, bassist and member of The New Pornographers who worked on and added elements to the project like a collage after receiving the demos from Dan Bejar (the man behind Destroyer had originally only used GarageBand). The saxophone from Kaputt thus makes a comeback. The band’s pop ambitions may reach their pinnacle with the metallic decadence of Cue Synthesizer, the 1980s-style ballad The Man in Black’s Blues or the kitsch piano of The Raven, but the post-punk melancholy, characteristic of the Canadian musician is apparent on the rest of the tracks. His nasal voice is always present, its poetic prose seeming to scorn a wasted world, accompanying intimate and nebulous melodies which are filled with flowing layers (The Television Music Supervisor, Foolssong). You could think that it may become tiring, but Dan Bejar’s talent is such that he manages to refresh the opus while remaining true to himself. Beautiful. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2011 | Dead Oceans

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks
Shape-shifting Canadian pop craftsman Daniel Bejar's ninth studio album under the Destroyer moniker added a whole lot of Bryan Ferry to a pot already boiling over with copious amounts of Bowie, Dylan, and T. Rex. Bejar's predilection for pairing Oscar Wilde-inspired, semi-apocalyptic witticisms with glam-kissed, minor-seventh retro pop remained intact, but where previous outings like This Night and Streethawk: A Seduction mined the '70s for inspiration, 2011's Kaputt utilizes '80s sophisti-pop, New Romantic, Northern soul, and straight-up adult contemporary to deliver a flawed but fascinating record. Like Goldfrapp's divisive, 2010 retro dance-pop tribute Head First, Kaputt is fully committed to its cause, wrapping everything up in a pristine, immaculately produced biosphere that’s filled to the brim with twinkling synths, soft rock drums, and enough wailing trumpets and saxophones to out-mellow Kenny G, David Sanborn, and Dave Koz combined. Ever the well-read, secretly pleased malcontent (“I write poetry for myself”), Bejar sounds more comfortable in this new disguise than he does on his more troubadour-oriented projects, as if producing the soundtrack for a discotheque with a capacity of one was his intention all along. His epic 11-minute, 2009 single “Bay of Pigs,” which he described at the time as “ambient disco,” could hardly serve as a more fitting conclusion to Kaputt, as it more than lives up to its creator’s boast. “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker,” “Song for America,” “Chinatown,” all of which skillfully tread water between the urbane intellectualism of Donald Fagan or Momus and the quiet, technical nihilism of Talk Talk, differ very little from the remaining six cuts, which may cause fans of his more adventurous work some fits, but there’s no denying their icy, coke-fueled 2:00 A.M. elegance. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 28, 2015 | Dead Oceans

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The first full-length Destroyer release since 2011's charting Kaputt -- with the Antonio Luque-penned Five Spanish Songs EP, and his bands the New Pornographers and Hello, Blue Roses' Brill Bruisers and WZO, respectively, dropping in the interim -- 2015's Poison Season marks prolific songsmith Dan Bejar's tenth LP with the project, and it's an intensely wistful, strings- and horns-washed epic exploration of New York city life. At nearly an hour in length, it feels immense, but more so from its unexpectedly cinematic stylings than from playing time -- with rotating, scene-setting arrangements (rock, jazz, chamber music) and beat-poetic narrative vignettes of a gritty reality seemingly from another time, or another mind. The string ensemble arrangements on the sparse opener, "Times Square, Poison Season I," proclaim yet another change in texture between albums for Bejar. It's a dramatically haunting, impressionistic, talky piece that could serve as an opening to an ominous musical, with lyrics like "The writing on the wall wasn't writing at all/Just forces of nature in love with a weather station," and later "You can follow a rose wherever it grows/Oh, you could fall in love with Times Square." Traces of Kaputt's sophisti-pop linger in the horns, piano, and delicate, extended guitar chords of "The River," on the tender "Solace's Bride," and on the sultry, jazzy "Archer on the Beach," but Poison Season stands alone thus far in Destroyer's catalog. Track highlights include the rocking "Dream Lover" that blasts Lou Reed's New York ("All the signs are saying 'This Way'"), the '70s crime show theme-invaded "Midnight Meet the Rain," and the three versions of "Times Square" (chamber music, '70s Bowie/Springsteen/Reed, chamber music), though the album really is a whole best heard by its submitted design. Theatrical songs, like the expansive "Forces from Above" -- with strings, synth noises, Latin percussion, a full drum kit passage, soaring, atmospheric saxophone, and Bejar's fragile near-whisper -- and the bouncy yet intensely forlorn "Hell" ("Baby, it's dumb. Look at what I've become - scum. A relic. A satellite") create lush snapshots within a steamy street mosaic. Co-produced by frequent Destroyer and New Pornographers collaborator David Carswell, there's no new mastermind involved here, just the bewildering Bejar, and nearly 20 years on, Destroyer is still as surprising and inspired as ever. "I got paid and then I wrote a song. I got paid and then I rode a song into the heavens." ~ Marcy Donelson
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ken

Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2017 | Dead Oceans

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When he doesn’t work with the New Pornographers, Dan Bejar plays Destroyer. At more than 45 years old, the Canadian now seems to focus more on this name that he’s been controlling since 1995. A dozen albums later, he continues to confuse the issue. He, who’s able to create baroque pop as well as quirky jazz, plunges the songs from Ken into viscerally synthetic waters. Bejar has always shouted about his passion for The Cure, and it’s hard not to think here of some sounds from Robert Smith’s band, of which he fortunately doesn’t have the voice. His voice, strange and atypical (hard not to think of Robyn Hitchcock or even of Ian Hunter during the Mott The Hoople era), is what make all the difference in this Destroyer project. It’s the perfect counterpoint to the musical world sculpted by the vintage synths and keyboards that he drives with taste. Produced by Josh Wells from Black Mountain, this twelfth album from Destroyer exudes some kind of unprecedented melodic evanescence. This is a feeling of well-being that Destroyer’s previous opuses didn’t offer with such generosity. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2017 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 8, 2020 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 9, 2011 | Talitres Records

Recorded with the production duo JC/DC (aka David Carswell and John Collins) -- who aided in the creation of Destroyer's first three discs -- Dan Bejar ditches the band format he used for 2002's This Night with tremendous results. Fusing a dramatic vocal style akin to that of David Bowie in the 1970s with 1980s studio achievers like Microdisney and Prefab Sprout, Your Blues is regularly breathtaking. Launched with the strummed guitar of "Notorious Lightning," Behar soon expands on his vision with the bright, synth-conceived orchestration of "An Actor's Revenge" and the fabulous, adventurous pop of "The Music Lovers." Sure, the long a cappella intro on the title cut is hard to take, but Destroyer's records are never without a challenge or two. Still, Behar quickly redeems himself with the tongue-in-cheek "New Ways of Living," which pokes fun at mid-'80s pop drama queens with lyrical and musical finesse. The flute-laced "It's Gonna Take an Airplane" is the high point here, with lyrics like "Baby, you were born to be seen/And art's just the start," but late-model standouts like the Hunky Dory-inspired "What Road" and the haunting closer, "Certain Things You Ought to Know," all help make Your Blues 2004's early front-runner for art rock album of the year. ~ John D. Luerssen
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 20, 2019 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 25, 2013 | Dead Oceans

Dan Bejar, the walking, talking, and singing definition of following your own muse, spent the last couple of years lugging around a full horn section in support of his slick and soulful 2011 sophisti-pop outing Kaputt, so it should come as no surprise that anything goes (musically) on this stopgap EP of covers of songs composed by Antonio Luque, the frontman for goth-tinged Spanish alt-rock outfit Sr. Chinarro. Not surprisingly, Luque, a verbose and enigmatic lyricist, is the perfect match for Bejar (they're also both hirsute rock & roll outliers), and the five-track collection requires little in the way of translation, as Bejar's alternately manic and laconic delivery somehow manages to keep breezy, Rioja-sipping confections like "Maria de las Nieves," buffed-up AOR rockers like "El Rito," and disco ball-lit fever dreams like "Babieca" in the same room together, despite their frequent stylistic attempts at escape. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2017 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2016 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 8, 2017 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 13, 2015 | Dead Oceans

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2015 | Dead Oceans

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Rap - Released January 29, 2020 | ENV Records

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Electronic - Released October 10, 2006 | Scratch Records

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Miscellaneous - Released January 1, 1988 | Screaming Mimi Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released December 2, 2017 | Mlsound

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Techno - Released February 7, 2014 | Graviton Audio

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