Atlas Sound: Parallax – review

(4AD)

There's always been an otherworldly quality to Bradford Cox's solo recordings as Atlas Sound, but on his third studio album it comes across with more unsettling clarity than ever. Parallax is dedicated to Trish Keenan, the ethereal-voiced singer with Broadcast, who died earlier this year; at times the sense of loneliness it communicates is so profound, you'd think it was Cox himself trapped beyond the grave. "Cold, cold, cold," he chants in the final throes of Modern Aquatic Nightsongs, over ghostly echoes of guitar. The spectral shimmer of Terra Incognita is eerier still, especially when Cox beckons "Will you join me?" in a voice as seductive as it is chilling. What you hear most of all in that voice is a full-blooded 1950s croon, with shades of Gene Vincent in ballad mode. It's a guise Cox revels in, pouting in Praying Man, quivering across the bubbly pop of Mona Lisa, and, in The Shakes, seeming to embrace death without regret.

Contributor

Maddy Costa

The GuardianTramp

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