Bradford Cox learned how to make his listeners swoon.
On “Parallax,” his most recent solo album released under the name Atlas Sound, Deerhunter front man Cox delivers his strongest collection of songs to date. The difference on “Parallax” lies completely in that voice—which has taken on a new persona and a new style of crooning.
From a glance at the album’s cover, showing a silhouetted photo of Cox holding a vintage microphone, to quick listens of songs like “Angle is Broken,” Cox seems to be recreating himself in the form of a ‘50s Rockabilly star. Like a modern-day Ricky Nelson, Cox sings with a sweetness that comes off as dreamy, clean-cut and too innocent to go breaking any hearts.
What separates Cox from crooners of the past are those gorgeous textures he’s known for making. Guitars, synth, bells, drums, harmonicas, maracas—the list can go on—create harmonies that work together flawlessly. With these sounds, repetition is key. Riffs sound over and over, then make the slightest adjustments, such as taking a note up a step, and always come back to that riff you loved in the first place. It’s comforting, like the common melody of a lullaby. And just like he does with his sounds, Cox can repeat a chorus in that new croon of his over and over and keep it cool.
Here’s his trick—he pulls you in with a fantastic little riff, sings so sweetly you want more and more of that voice like it’s some sugary ear-candy, and makes it so addictively catchy, his songs will be stuck on repeat in your mind, like faint memories of a wonderful dream.
Much easier said than done.