“Breaker” marks the most prominent vocal collaboration between Deerhunter’s two main songwriters – Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt – in the band’s impressive discography. While the two have always made for a wonderful musical pairing, “Breakers” is even more gorgeous than the idea of a full-blown collaborative track between the two songwriters originally seemed. As the two share vocals, their similarities (and vast differences) are put in the forefront. There’s hardly a trace of the back-to-basics, underrated Monomania, as the band pursues a direction closer to the dreamy, infinite sonics of Microcastle and Halcyon Digest. But at the core of “Breaker” is one of the best melodies and structures of any Deerhunter song. In some ways, it reminds me of another beloved independent rock band and their own breathtaking, surprising turn on their last LP: Spoon and “Inside Out.” “Breaker” is as wistful and painstakingly beautiful as that essential They Want My Soul cut, and coming from a band known for their intense live shows, it feels like Deerhunter is taking a deep breath. Reflecting on their past while gravitating toward their future.
Fading Frontier is out October 16 through 4AD.