Release Date: Jan 31, 2020
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Experimental Rock
Mystic Familiar marks Dan Deacon's return to making majestically arranged synth pop, after several years spent concentrating on film scores and his long-term involvement with the contemporary classical world. Continuing to explore the existentialist lyrical themes of 2015's Gliss Riffer, he reflects on his personal experiences without directly detailing any specific instances; instead concentrating on intense feelings and channeling them through his music. Deacon's singing voice sounds closer to Wayne Coyne's than ever, and he maintains a similar sense of determined optimism, even while facing a scary, oppressive world filled with darkness and negativity.
Dan Deacon causes headaches. Lovely, lovely headaches. The man has spent the best part of two decades creating album after album of batshit future-pop that hops from genre to genre like Rodger Rabbit on speed. He can be fun, but somewhat tiring. Thankfully with fifth studio album 'Mystic Familiar ….
After a few years away working on film soundtracks, Dan Deacon is back with another studio album full of whimsical lyrics, intense rhythms and bright, sunny synths. Breezy pop structures are undercut by experimental sound design, a playful spirit buoying up the record throughout. Mystic Familiar opens with the piano chords of Become A Mountain, notes billowing on top of each other in a constant crescendo that cuts off abruptly for the song's end.
Five years have passed since Gliss Riffer, Dan Deacon's last proper album, which isn't to suggest he hasn't stayed busy. In the intervening years, Deacon has scored eight films, ranging from HBO's Well Groomed to Rat Film, which explored Baltimore's racial segregation as seen through the lens of the city's rodent infestation. These projects allowed Deacon to further explore his compositional side and his electro-acoustic work, previously best heard on his 2012 album America.
'Mystic Familiar' is the fifth album from experimental indie-pop champion Dan Deacon. The Baltimore native let five years pass between his previous album 'Gliss Riffer' and 'Mystic Familiar'. In those in-between years he kept himself busy with multiple projects, from composing the original score to Rat Film and HBO's Well Groomed to collaborating with NYCBallet's resident choreographer Justin Peck.