in Review

Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer

Who wants to rock the party? Dan Deacon wants to rock the party. The one thing I can tell you about ol’ double D is that he demands people listening to his music to have fun. His sound, nay his M.O. is to be fun and goofy and absolutely something you can dance to until you’re a sweaty mess. That’s about all I can tell you about his music though, because looking up live performances reveals that he plays a microphone and an endless, indecipherable sea of wires, buttons, knobs, and switches.

Maybe this is just what music is like today, in it’s purest form? Nothing is natural on Gliss Riffer, especially Deacon’s voice, which takes on many personas, some masculine, some feminine, some decidedly non-human. Perhaps in spite of that, lyrically Deacon is focused on spiritual and existential quandaries; such as the idea of existence in the pre-life, as opposed to the afterlife, which he delves into on the relentless “When I Was Done Dying.”

This depth was the pleasant surprise on the album for me, as this was my first exposure to Dan Deacon. A friend of mine showed my his NPR Tiny Desk performance, but honestly at the time is crowdwork antics were off-putting to me. What really opened me up to him was his appearance on Improv for Humans, which usually only brings on musicians who tell great stories through song. That turned out to be one of my favorite episodes this year.

Anyway, Gliss Riffer is about as energetic an album as I can take these days, unless I’m looking to get pumped up. It’s been a great commute companion this last month and a half and one I would recommend to anyone who’s looking to get a little off the beaten path. Or fuck it, maybe this is exactly the shit kids are listening to these days. Who knows?

Favorite Tracks: “Feel the Lightning,” “When I Was Done Dying,” “Mind on Fire”