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We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.
Album: Spooky Action At A Distance by Lotus Plaza (out now on Kranky)
Press play if you like: The Deerhunter song “Desire Lines”; jangly guitars that sound like they could play the same riff forever.
Some background: Lead singer Bradford Cox commands most of the attention in the Atlanta-based indie-rock band Deerhunter, but guitarist Lockett Pundt is arguably just as responsible for the group’s hypnotic, trance-rock anthems. “Desire Lines,” a mesmerizing shoegazer number with an extended guitar-driven coda, was Pundt’s best and most beloved contribution to Deerhunter’s fantastic 2010 effort, Halcyon Digest, and it’s the blueprint for his second album as Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action At A Distance. Just as Cox’s side project Atlas Sound has showcased the singer-songwriter’s twisted avant-pop side, Lotus Plaza has evolved into an avenue for Pundt’s mightiest, prettiest guitar epics. Songs like “Strangers” and “Monoliths” display Pundt’s knack for hooky pop-rock, but the most breathtaking parts of Spooky Action are the dreamiest, sprawling-iest ones, where Pundt conducts an orchestra of slowly shifting guitar lines into grand cathedrals of gorgeous sound. “Eveningness” and “Remember Our Days” are both propulsive and yet in no great hurry to reach the destination, like a brisk drive on an empty highway. Pundt’s influences—the motorik beats of Stereolab, the six-string dreamscapes of My Bloody Valentine, the dark-hued melodicism of the Velvet Underground—are on full display with Lotus Sound, and on Spooky Action he shows that he’s making guitar-based indie rock better than anyone right now.
Try this: Highlights abound on Spooky Action—“Strangers” and “Eveningness” are among the most immediate grabbers—but the whole album is truly a captivating listen.