Choice Cuts: Top Acoustic Songs from Bradford Cox of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound
A defender of the loud, Cox is equally as incredible unplugged
3. Deerhunter: “He Would Have Laughed”
Out of all the entries in Cox’s discography, its tough to pick one that stands above all the others. But if there has to be one, Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest is a pretty strong candidate. A truly stunning album with incredible scope, it is all over the place musically.
Its closer, “He Would Have Laughed,” is its sole acoustic moment, and one of its best. A jaw-dropping, seven and a half minute tribute to Cox’s recently deceased friend Jay Reatard, Cox takes you on an amazing journey that seems to cover a million miles.
Looping a simple riff, Cox lays the groundwork for the track’s first half. He croons “I’m only bored as I get older” over the song’s driving percussion. Even as the song gracefully transforms into a blissful, laid-back, acoustic-driven march five minutes in, it is a song that is haunted by ghosts. As a tribute to a friend and fellow musician, “He Would Have Laughed” is heartfelt, desperately melancholic and deeply moving. It continues to be one of the highlights of Cox’s career.
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