Music Review

Track Review: Dan Deacon – “Feel the Lightning”

Dan Deacon is the individual who has made us make make dance-tunnels with our hands, designed apps for impromptu light shows at his gigs and toured the world in a vegetable oil-powered bus: settled, thus isn’t an adjective often used for him.

But that’s exactly how his latest single “Feel the Lightning” sounds. Coming from a guy making use of two drummers, steel drums and machine-operated pianos to build lightning pace compositions, bongos at the beginning of a track make for an uneventful start, but from the get-go “Feel the Lightning” feels like a harnessing of all of Dan Deacon’s quirkiness into something infinitely listenable and populist in tone. Former tracks like ‘Slow With Horns/Run for your Life’ and ‘Baltihorse’ were great tracks, but it certainly felt they were on the ‘experimental’ side of a musician smitten with pop music’s appeal. Instead, “Feel the Lightning” takes their droning saw-tooth synths, polyrhythms and retro auto-tune and focuses them into almost 5 minutes of deliberate, swirling pop music that feels like it owes more to new-wave than Dan Deacon’s contemporary-classical jazz background, a factor often at the forefront of the movements within ‘Bromst’ and ‘America.’

Deacon even finds the time to pack the song’s verses with a rant about Johnny Depp ‘playing the middle man’ in a film that I can only partially make out the title of, a staple of his live shows. I’m inclined to jettison back in time to Deacon’s 2013 Primavera Sound appearance, in which he told an audience to dance like the ‘velociraptor tearing ass in the canteen scene in jurassic park’ and ‘fuckin’ killin it like Bart Simpson and his dad in their online gaming session,’ factors that reveal Deacon’s idiosyncratic, eccentric sensibilities (i.e, he’s a nerd). Their presence on his latest single, meanwhile, reveal Deacon mashing together all an amalgam of different factors he’s used throughout his career, live and recorded, sprinkling them with a sound fresh off of an Ultravox LP amidst still prevalent tendencies for 40 minute jazz odysseys and dramatic film-rant breakdowns. The result: this polished, gleaming pop-diamond.