Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox has been making music under the
nom de bedroom Atlas Sound since he was a pre-teen. The two outfits are a study in contrasts: Deerhunter is known for its ambient noisiness and unruly live shows; Atlas Sound, mellow, insular and mostly sad, is a shifting target for Cox’s tastes, which include psychedelic pop, classic rock, tropicalia, droney shoegaze and lots of falsettos.
The dreamy, atypically pared-down “Parallax” is Atlas Sound’s most cohesive work — it feels like an album, not a collection of found sounds tied together with reverb. It’s often beautiful and awkward — and sometimes just awkward.
Everything floats by and nothing hits hard, even great songs such as the ’60s retro folk exercise “Terra Incognita,” the ambient standout “Flagstaff” and the gentle, trippy “Modern Aquatic Nightsongs,” a gurgly, ephemeral pop track that comes exactly as advertised.