Casual fans who made it over to the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound/Lotus Plaza blog have probably been more likely to recognize the first two names in that title, as all Bradford Cox-affiliated projects have been swept up into the indie limelight. Lotus Plaza, the solo project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt, has long dwelled on the back burner, releasing just a handful of tracks on their shared blogspace. But this year, Pundt has finally delivered the long-awaited Lotus Plaza full-length debut (which supposedly was started back in 2007) via Kranky, home label for both Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.
The Floodlight Collective, which came out on March 23rd, explores psych-rock territory just a stone’s throw from either of the aforementioned bands. Yet, Pundt manages to drift into even hazier expanse, threading together fogged soundscapes of electronics, feedback, drowned out vocal harmonies, and 60s garage-rock sensibilities. It’s unfortunate that some critics are already starting to write this album off, assuming it’ll ultimately get overlooked in light of the excellence of Atlas Sound and Deerhunter. I’m not ready to break out the underrated albums of 2009 list just yet. If you spend some time with Pundt’s The Floodlight Collective, I think you’ll find it reveals itself as a one of the better albums of the year so far and dispels any notion that Bradford Cox is the sole guiding force of their main band.
Most of the best tracks on this record ascend to bright and brilliant heights of formless ambience, yet remain grounded in strong hooks, be they melodic or percussive… standouts “Quicksand” and “Different Mirrors”, which features Cox as guest drummer, benefit from both.
Download: Lotus Plaza – Quicksand