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Destroyer|LABYRINTHITIS

LABYRINTHITIS

Destroyer

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Labyrinthitis is a medical condition (inflammation in the inner ear which results in hearing loss, a sense of dizziness and vertigo) that seems to result in an unsettling state of being. In the opening moments of Destroyer's latest album of the same name, a crackling drum loop and orchestra tune-up are swept into an eerily similar abstraction of space and sound that cocoons the listener from all sides. This panoramic dizzying state is constant throughout LABYRINTHITIS, but inside that envelope are dotted pockets of cynical lyrical subversion, insoluble anxious questioning, and restful acceptance.  It’s a sonic bath so thick and luscious with the hypnotic, woozy wistfulness of frontman and maestro Dan Bejar's voice guiding us through the fog. LABYRINTHITIS' lyrical and sonic statements appear as non-sequitur. Still, when lifted out of line-by-line analysis, their meanings extend an invitation to get lost in their arcane maze. Because no matter where you end up, Bejar and his band have got your back.

Mainly written in 2020 and pieced together through early 2021 with frequent-collaborator and fellow-New Pornographer John Collins, LABYRINTHITIS is a continuation of Destroyer's cerebral, life-is-messy-so-embrace-it revelation. Bejar has said that his lyricism has a "hermetic” and "unconscious" stream of consciousness, which is highlighted in "June." Muted bass bounces and synthesizer glimmers open to Bejar proclaiming "Fancy language dies, and everyone's happy to see it go" into decisive reflections that wage workers are "Happy to strike for more pay." While seemingly unrelated, Bejar's wandering slurs weave the different ideas together (Consider a title like "Eat the Wine, Drink the Bread"). Shrouded in a misty sheen, the instrumental soundscapes of LABYRINTHITIS are another striking high point. Crashing keyboards, driving drum patterns, muted horn honks, and pulsating synthesizers speckle the vistas of each track. "Tintoretto, It's for You" (yes, like the Italian painter) and "The States" are serpentine with no predictable structure, but imbue a sense of meditation amidst swirling destruction their very lyrics are describing. Destroyer’s hazy, scalable labyrinth is anchored by the distinctive paradox of feeling lost and self-assured, all in the same swing. A fitting illustration for the world at the time this record arrives. © William Card/Qobuz

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LABYRINTHITIS

Destroyer

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1
It's In Your Heart Now
00:06:55

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

2
Suffer
00:03:29

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

3
June
00:06:33

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

4
All My Pretty Dresses
00:04:40

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

5
Tintoretto, It's For You
00:03:05

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

6
Labyrinthitis
00:03:19

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

7
Eat the Wine, Drink the Bread
00:03:37

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

8
It Takes a Thief
00:02:41

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

9
The States
00:06:55

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

10
The Last Song
00:02:34

John Collins, Producer, MixingEngineer - Destroyer, MainArtist - Dan Bejar, Composer

2022 Bella Union 2022 Bella Union

Album Description

Labyrinthitis is a medical condition (inflammation in the inner ear which results in hearing loss, a sense of dizziness and vertigo) that seems to result in an unsettling state of being. In the opening moments of Destroyer's latest album of the same name, a crackling drum loop and orchestra tune-up are swept into an eerily similar abstraction of space and sound that cocoons the listener from all sides. This panoramic dizzying state is constant throughout LABYRINTHITIS, but inside that envelope are dotted pockets of cynical lyrical subversion, insoluble anxious questioning, and restful acceptance.  It’s a sonic bath so thick and luscious with the hypnotic, woozy wistfulness of frontman and maestro Dan Bejar's voice guiding us through the fog. LABYRINTHITIS' lyrical and sonic statements appear as non-sequitur. Still, when lifted out of line-by-line analysis, their meanings extend an invitation to get lost in their arcane maze. Because no matter where you end up, Bejar and his band have got your back.

Mainly written in 2020 and pieced together through early 2021 with frequent-collaborator and fellow-New Pornographer John Collins, LABYRINTHITIS is a continuation of Destroyer's cerebral, life-is-messy-so-embrace-it revelation. Bejar has said that his lyricism has a "hermetic” and "unconscious" stream of consciousness, which is highlighted in "June." Muted bass bounces and synthesizer glimmers open to Bejar proclaiming "Fancy language dies, and everyone's happy to see it go" into decisive reflections that wage workers are "Happy to strike for more pay." While seemingly unrelated, Bejar's wandering slurs weave the different ideas together (Consider a title like "Eat the Wine, Drink the Bread"). Shrouded in a misty sheen, the instrumental soundscapes of LABYRINTHITIS are another striking high point. Crashing keyboards, driving drum patterns, muted horn honks, and pulsating synthesizers speckle the vistas of each track. "Tintoretto, It's for You" (yes, like the Italian painter) and "The States" are serpentine with no predictable structure, but imbue a sense of meditation amidst swirling destruction their very lyrics are describing. Destroyer’s hazy, scalable labyrinth is anchored by the distinctive paradox of feeling lost and self-assured, all in the same swing. A fitting illustration for the world at the time this record arrives. © William Card/Qobuz

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