On their new album, “The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3,” The Deer Tracks manage to run the gamut of indie pop variations, from futuristic, avant-garde tracks to more straightforwardly poppy songs. While this variety could become overly chaotic and disconnected, the album as a whole finds its foundation in the band’s ability to expertly, effortlessly layer sounds. The record is a well-executed exhibition of The Deer Tracks’ enviable talent for building upbeat, elaborate tracks that manage to not sound overworked or stiff.
On “Divine Light,” sci-fi and surreal digital effects contrast the soft and feminine vocals to create an overall sound that’s both ambient and engaging. “Explodion” plays with these layers in a different way, stripping them down to minimal, fragile verses that lead into a grand, bombastic, well, explosion. While the two styles are intrinsically oppositional, The Deer Tracks manage to merge them into one track, one single experience that highlights them both.
While The Deer Tracks successfully navigate the indie pop landscape over the majority of the album, they do, albeit rarely, stray off course. The opening song, “III,” sets the audience for an entirely different listening experience. The absence of instruments or effects on the track strays from the inherent signature of the rest of the album, calling to mind a high school a capella group instead of a talented, smart indie pop duo that specializes in an ordered chaos aesthetic. While it may only be one misstep on a record that boasts innumerable other bright spots, because it is the first track, the first impression that a listener will get of The Deer Tracks and what they’re trying to say, it creates a disjointed identity for the album.
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