Dan Bejar has been a musical renaissance man for sometime now. Adding new dimensions to The New Pornographers, his solo work as Destroyer, or performing with his girlfriend Sydney Vermont as Hello, Blue Roses all turn out some amazing sounds. His latest album as Destroyer is called Kaputt, and will be released on Merge Records on January 25. The album retraces steps through his past catalog, something that, in this case, is a good thing. With an extensive array of both pop, ambient, and experimental works, you never really know what you’ll hear from each track to the next. In Kaputt, this is no different.
Personally, the standout track for me is the “epic” track “Bay of Pigs (Detail).” It was released on an EP of the same name in August and took up all of Side A, clocking in just under fifteen minutes. On the album, it’s trimmed to under twelve minutes, but after once listen, you’ll wish they kept it as is. Starting with sweeping tones and melodies, Bejar’s crooning voice comes in, beckoning the listener to hear more. After a few minutes, electronic beats start to entwine with the tones and before you know it, a drum beat has got you dancing while the sweet guitar notes lead into the synth-heavy middle break. I would try to describe the song in it’s entirety but I’m sure your eyes couldn’t bear to look at the screen that long. (Press play to hear/experience it.)
Another beauty of a song would be “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker.” This brings to mind Destroyer’s Rubies, one of his earliest and greatest works (in my opinion), released in 2006. Another one of the more upbeat songs was the title track, “Kaputt.” It’s filled with warm horns and a constant drum beat; you won’t be able to stop swaying long after this track is done. Add in the great female vocals to contrast with Bejar’s, and quite the dreamy song is born.
All in all, the tracks on this album are pretty solid, and I predict this release will be the one that saves Destroyer’s career from going “kaput” (pun intended).