Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 2001, ‘ambient punks’ Deerhunter’s line-up has ever since been based around a core of guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Bradford Cox and drummer Moses Archuleta. Bassist Colin Mee, then living in Atlanta punk house Die Slaughterhaus with members of Black Lips, was soon added alongside bassist Justin Bosworth. This version of the band appeared on only one release, a 2005 7” split with Alphabets, as Bosworth died tragically in 2004 from head injuries incurred in a skateboarding accident. Their self-titled debut album (also dubbed Turn It Up Faggot, in reference to an oft-heard heckle at their live shows) appeared in 2005, but the harrowing effects of Bosworth’s death had taken their toll on the band, who opted for a different approach for future records. Cox’s childhood friend Lockett Pundt was subsequently invited to join the band.
After an abortive attempt to record a follow-up with folk musician Samara Lubelski, in November 2005 Deerhunter returned to the same Georgia studio where they made their debut, emerging two days later having recorded the softer, reverb-drenched Cryptograms. Released by Chicago’s Kranky Records (previously home to Low and Godspeed You! Black Emperor), the album swiftly gathered plaudits from Pitchfork and beyond – “an enthralling splurge of sound,” said The Skinny – and was swiftly followed by the Flourescent Grey EP.
The third Deerhunter record, Microcastle, was leaked online several months prior to its October 2008 release, so the band responded by recording an additional album of new material. The resulting record, Weird Era Cont., was to be included with Microcastle as a surprise for fans who had waited for the official street date, although this too was leaked before release, much to Cox’s annoyance. Spawning their enduring crowd favourite Nothing Ever Happened, it proved the band’s most successful record thus far, with The Skinny calling it “a cohesive, striking amalgam of all that they have learned so far.” 2010’s follow-up Halcyon Digest saw their critical ascent continue, as the band moved to seminal British post-punk label 4AD.
Following several lineup changes, Deerhunter returned in 2013 with sixth album Monomania, a darker effort that Cox described as both “very hateful” and “a very avant-garde rock & roll record”. The Skinny was less impressed than with previous efforts, calling it “a tad regressive at times”, but also “a somewhat measured and uncharacteristically consistent work.” A car crash in December 2014 left the frontman seriously injured, who described the incident as “a perspective-giving jolt” before the band’s reappearance in August 2015 with Fading Frontier. Including the dreampop glide of Breaker – heavily rotated on BBC 6 Music throughout the autumn – the album introduced a more approachable sound than its predecessor, exhibiting “a slow release and a desire for solitude,” according to our review.
Deerhunter Band Members
Bradford Cox (vocals, guitar, keyboards, electronics)
Lockett Pundt (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
Josk McKay (bass, keyboards)
Moses Archuleta (drums, electronics)
Dan Walton (drums – 2001)
Paul Harper (bass – 2001)
Justin Bosworth (bass – 2001-2004)
Colin Mee (guitar – 2001-2008)
Whitney Petty (guitar – 2008-2009)
Joshua Fauver (bass – 2004-2012)
Frankie Broyles (guitar – 20012-2014)
Deerhunter have released seven full-length albums, plus the EPs Flourescent Grey (2007) and Rainwater Cassette Exchange (2009). Their first single was a split 7" with Alphabets, limited to 300 copies and released by Die Slaughterhaus Records in 2005.
Bradford Cox has also released three solo albums under his Atlas Sound psudonym: Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (2008), Logos (2009) and Parallax (2011), all released through 4AD. He has also performed in a range of side projects including Ghetto Cross alongside Frankie Broyles (ex-Deerhunter) and Cole Alexander of Black Lips. In 2013, Cox made his acting debut in the film Dallas Buyers Club, alongside Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto.
Recording under the name Lotus Plaza, guitarist Lockett Pundt has released two albums (2009's The Floodlight Collective and 2012's Spooky Action at a Distance) and one EP (2014's Overnight Motorcycle Music), all through Kranky.
Deerhunter Past Tours, Awards & Nominations
Deerhunter have toured extensively since first forming in the early 2000s, regularly appearing at festivals such as All Tomorrow's Parties (which they curated in 2013), Primavera and Le Guess Who?