Le Guess Who 2015 Day Four: Annette Peacock, Atlas Sound, and Deerhunter | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Deerhunter and/or Atlas Sound

Le Guess Who? 2015

Le Guess Who 2015 Day Four: Annette Peacock, Atlas Sound, and Deerhunter, November 22nd, 2015

Nov 30, 2015 Jacco Gardner Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

The final day of any festival is a bit like camp. By that point, you’ve made a few new friends, had a few incredible bonding experiences, and never ever want to go home. But there’s also exhaustion. You know what you want. In my case, it was the ending double-hitter Atlas Sound and Deerhunter. But, as per tradition when it comes to Le Guess Who? other acts had to sneak in at the last minute and steal my heart.


After his stand-out set at Under the Radar’s SXSW party earlier this year, most of us are huge fans of the Dutch troubadour. Oh hey, guess what—seven months later there’s still no surprises. The songs of his newest, Hypnophobia unspool like psych-pop dreams, full of baroque harmonies and lush layers. Even a tech problem was transformed into an opportunity, Gardner’s band performing an impromptu jam session while he located the source of the feedback.


I’ve always been a casual fan of Ariel Pink, my interesting his catalogue peaking whenever his off-handedly crude comments aren’t littering the blogs. However, after seeing him at both Le Guess Who and Iceland Airwaves I can say I simply don’t get him live. With a video backdrop that looked like something out of A Clockwork Orange, and a drummer in a bikini, he sure put on some kind of performance. However, the provocateur’s musical performance, delivered from the middle of a plexiglass corral, was completely unremarkable.


And then there was 74-year-old singer/songwriter Annette Peacock, who I considered to be the dark horse. Associate of Timothy Leary. Avant-garde composer. Early supporter of the synth and first user of the Moog. Owner of Ironic Records. David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Mick Ronson have all covered her work. Given her impressive CV I’m almost embarrassed to admit I didn’t know anything about her until her haunting, David Lynch-leaning set. She performed on both a piano and synth, bathed in a blue light that made her look like the ultimate femme fatale. Her twisted compositions could easily stand up against anything written today—so much in fact that during Deerhunter’s performance Bradford Cox lamented the fact that he couldn’t watch her set.


These two sets can be grouped together—if anything because it’s increasingly difficult these days to tell where Deerhunter ends and Atlas Sound begins. (Frontman for both projects, Bradford Cox, didn’t make it any easier by simply walking off stage and returning seconds later in the same trench coat/glasses/hat combination.) There were no hour-long covers or salacious stories (Cox did tell the heartwarming tale of how festival founder Bob van Heur helped him find his teeth after having them knocked out last time he played Utrecht). Instead, both bands offered up a pervasive sense of fun and experimentation, as they drew from every corner of their deep catalogues. (“Rainwater Cassette Exchange?” Yes please.) By the time they closed with an extended version of crowd favorite “Nothing Ever Happened.” It felt like, well, anything could happen. Which isn’t that kind of the point?

And so there you have it. The festival came to an end, as I believe the old saying goes, not with a bang, but a crazy amazing set and then an after party filled with soul classics from The Numero Group DJs. As per usual, a huge thank you to everyone involved in Le Guess Who. Your love shows in every aspect of the fest. I can’t wait to do it all again.

Check out day four photos here.








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January 4th 2016

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