At 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"
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