Track of the Day: 'Suicide Demo for Kara Walker'

Past TracksAt this point in his career, Destroyer's Dan Bejar seems pretty comfortable doing just whatever he damn well pleases. After toying with narrative and concrete imagery in previous albums, he's decided to abandon those concepts altogether. Nowadays, it seems his trade is feelings, and the free-associative lyric sheet for this song starts off in the direction of isolation and despair ("Fool child, you're never gonna make it"... "Longings, longings, longings, all in vain.") but veers to odd racial ruminations and sideways glances at the American South. It is a telling fact that he sang much of this record while reclining on a couch or fixing himself a sandwich. This oddball approach to writing and recording calls to mind the epic slacking of Pavement's Stephen Malkmus, who destroyed the greatest American rock band of the 1990's because he wanted to play Scrabble instead of writing songs.

But unlike Pavement, the wandering composition that opens the song is serene and evocative; Bejar is content to let the Spanish guitar line and the flute melody sit in space. Nothing about this song feels forced, and each component develops at its own pace. The format shifts from spacey ambiance to straightforward rock but maintains its ambling attitude, incorporating a palm-muted guitar line, distant horns, a saxophone, and a very brief appearance by a female back-up singer. These disparate elements are free to mingle and combine in new ways so that the 8-plus-minute song never feels boring. Placed squarely in the middle of Kaputt, "Suicide Demo For Kara Walker" is a perfect representation of the album as a whole: interesting, lively, and heavy on the saxophone.



On iTunes: Destroyer / "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker"

new track button.png
Presented by

 Mitchell London is a policy specialist with B&D Consulting in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, he writes and takes photographs for Brightest Young Things.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Entertainment

Just In