by Tiana Feng

Recently released on Merge Records is Kaputt by Vancouver’s own, Destroyer. The album is a mix of indie pop experimentation with folk and jazz elements; something singer-songwriter Daniel Bejar is known to be fond of.

1. Chinatown
2. Blue Eyes
3. Savage Night at the Opera
4. Suicide Demo for Kara Walker
5. Poor in Love
6. Kaputt
7. Downtown
8. Song for America
9. Bay of Pigs (Detail)

It took me a while to get to writing this review because I’d forget about it a little. If you just passively listen to the album, it can get a bit lost in the background because of the nature of the loungie sax licks and long instrumental interludes. However, with a much more careful listen there is more to Kaputt than meets the eye.

The album is introduced with Chinatown where you first taste of Dan’s low vocals. Vocals that make your body tremble, and girls a little wet. His voice is beautifully embellished by female vocals, something you will hear throughout the entire album. “I can walk away, you can walk away” is a repeated phrase in the song that introduces the idea of independence and that everything is our own doing; a theme prevalent throughout.

Blue Eyes reminds me of the female and male vocal interaction of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan of Stars. If I had my iPod on shuffle, I’d get him confused for Torquil. Here is the idea of independence again as he proclaims “I write poetry for myself”. The instrumental interlude here sounds a bit loungey. However in Save Night at the Opera it starts with vocables that are more indie electro, so we move away from that lounge-feel. I love the way he dictates his sentences and fits like multiple syllables within a beat. This track is almost dream pop a great lead in to Suicide Demo for Kara Walker.

The track begins with very ambient space sounds that make the room you are in feel giant. It is then interrupted slightly with a beautiful flute solo. The whole atmosphere changes when the vocals enter 3 minutes into the song. I enjoy that Dan can fit in the word “fuck it” so subtly that you might not catch it.

Poor in Love is a catchy piece with a bit of confusing subject matter. He claims to be poor in love, poor in wealth, but okay in everything else. So what does he have?

Kaputt lives up to its name. It is the title track of the song and also a word meaning destroyed. The content of the lyrics remind Americans they will one day be the death of themselves. The last three songs demonstrate more of an experimental side and show us that Dan loves to hide subtle jokes in his melodies. In Bay of Pigs he says “It doesn’t mean a thing but it’s got that swing“.

The album serves as a great background music because it is so laid back and blends together as a whole. Don’t be fooled though, over careful listens you here how deep the lyrical content can be.
Destroyer- Suicide Demo for Kara Walker[audio:]
Destroyer- Kaputt[audio:]
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