Listen: Destroyer’s ‘Crimson Tide’ is a spacious synth-rock gem
Two years on from his last full-length record, Daniel Bejar – AKA Destroyer, has returned with a sumptuous new track for us to sink our teeth into. ‘Crimson Tide’ is the song and it’s our Track of the Day.
The song from the multi-instrumentalist is a sign of his unnerving command of sound. Equal parts synth-rock and operatic storytelling, ‘Crimson Tide’ is a powerful message left unanswered. Bejar’s opening line working as the perfect introduction: “I was like the laziest river/ A vulture predisposed to eating off floors/ No wait, I take that back, I was more like an ocean/ Stuck inside hospital corridors.”
Taken from the new album Have We Met the press release suggests that Bejar was influenced by ’80s films like Pretty In Pink and White Nights and judging by this offering it’s hard to argue. The track would slip effortlessly into either film with it’s nods to the Pet Shop Boys and other stalwarts of the decade. Listen below.
The video is equally as carefully constructed. The clip sees images of Bejar grooving around with scenes from David Biddle and David Ehrenreich’s short film Ashcroft. David Galloway, who co-directed the clip with Ehrenreich, told Stereogum:
“Do you like the 1985 politico-dance-thriller White Nights? What about John Hughes’ controversial 1986 proleteeniat love letter to the hoi polloi, Pretty In Pink? What do these seminal films of the 1980s have to do with Destroyer’s overture to 2020, Have We Met? They are canonized not only by their groundbreaking and visionary contributions to Hollywood, they are escorted by the rarefied but much-maligned “movie tie-in music video.” So this is like that, only a little bit different. I don’t know if this particular movie is a “movie” in the traditional sense of the trope, and I don’t know if there will be a soundtrack. There might be a bootleg mix-tape, though.
That movie is Ashcroft: an ambiguous short, an art-house film that explores time, memory, fruit, the landscape of the British Columbia interior, and recovery from — and into — deception. “Ashcroft is not a place of passive rest, but rather an intoxicating playground for excavation and manipulation” is a quote from the filmmakers’ press release. Movies need songs [kind of] and songs need movies [videos?]. This is a music video about a movie, or for a movie, or really just with a movie. The point is: they love each other. With “Crimson Tide,” Destroyer introduces listeners to yet another version of the Bejar Enigma, and ushers viewers to seats in an alternate cinematic universe. The dramatic music video that ties in to film is a lost art. Or maybe it’s just a vulgar one. Either way, there’s no rotten tomatoes here. Only rotten apples.”