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96. Deerhoof – Chandelier Searchlight

19/09/2009

96

Using a chandelier for a searchlight, one imagines, might not be the most productive of exercises. The cut glass would splinter light around, illuminating everything with small fractals instead of providing a direct beam to offer any sort of structure. Whether this is what Deerhoof are singing about here is known only to Japanese speakers, but given the puzzling, haphazard nature of the song’s structure, it might not be too far off. That said, it’s the structure that makes Chandelier Searchlight so curiously bewitching. With half a dozen sections and key changes, this should have no right to be anything more than an academic exercise, but as the track lurches forwards each piece of the unravelling puzzle is prettier still to behold. It’s tempting then to write the song off as mere serendipity – independent pieces randomly shuffled to produce a perfect whole by chance, like when a fully-formed word is spelled out on the Countdown rack before the round starts – but at the same time, there’s also nothing to suggest that Deerhoof didn’t intend it all either. And given the tune’s perfect pace, beautiful playing and effortless composition, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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