Destroyer’s Cue Synthesiser comes on the heels of two more excellent singles that are pointing to upcoming LP Have We Met (out January 31) being one of his best in years.
For the uninitiated, Destroyer is the lovechild of singer-songwriter Dan Bejar, a man who has carved his own inimitable little trench in indie rock over the last 20 plus years, from the New Pornographers to this beloved solo project that’s now his main outlet. Trench is an apt word, as some will certainly find his style hard to approach. His lyrics are seemingly random snippets of ideas, some would say imagery for imagery’s sake. Bejar is too cynical and self-aware to deny this, acknowledging that his songwriting process is disordered and declaring his strategy to “Sing the least poetic thing you can think of, and try to make it sound beautiful.”
And yet like most Destroyer tracks, Cue Synthesiser draws this imagery together to paint something bleak yet beautiful. The narrative seems to be about the world as a drudging automaton: full of the same cities, same people and the same clubs, music played on instruments cued like a production line to “a room of pit ponies/ drowning in a sea of love.” Whatever it’s about, it sounds absolutely hopeless, and absolutely great.
The instrumental fits the subject matter, with compressed guitar solos jammed all over the place and stilted drum fills that are as programmed as the lyrics would suggest. It’s catchy and arena-ready on first listen but at the heart of it, spare and cold.