“It is the loneliest record that I’ve ever made,” Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox told SPIN magazine recently about “Parallax,” the latest album from his solo project Atlas Sound. A few days after the publication of the interview, Cox was at Skidmore College to perform as Atlas Sound at the Arthur Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs.
And yes, Cox looked quite alone when he appeared onstage in the college’s pristine new performing arts theater with just an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and an effects board at his feet – an impression amplified by the vastness of the stage, the purplish lighting and the abandoned drum kit sitting unused behind him.
It could sound like a recipe for navel-gazing, but Cox isn’t your typical broken-hearted indie singer-songwriter. He’s written before about his extended stays in children’s hospitals for complications related to Marfan syndrome, and Cox has a rather unique ability to convey mortality and pain through the lens of childhood.