Nearly a minute of the Deerhunter single "Monomania" is awash in atonal fits and surges. For 12 seconds at the beginning and 45 in the outro, guitars (how many is gloriously hard to discern) screech and bend with cacophonous joy, heaving with expectation and, eventually, something like fulfillment. In between is perhaps the rawest and most transcendental rock music the Atlanta-reared troupe has penned yet, which is significant considering the ground they've covered in the past decade. (There are too many takes on "raw" and "transcendental" to mention—most worth exploring.) Cleverly disguised as a simple, four-chord garage number, "Monomania" ultimately spends more time as a droning and beautiful loop: Deerhunter's assertive front man Bradford Cox repeating "mono monomania mono monomania" as a melancholic guitar lead surfaces and evaporates while the song (from the album of same name, streaming now from NPR), evolves into delirious rock and roll impressionism.
A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.