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New York Cool - Music

Crystal Stilts and Atlas Sound
South Street Seaport
July 25, 2008

Written by Stephanie Fouts
Photographed by Amy Davdson

Opposite Photo: Bradford Cox of
Atlas Sound

“Swaying by the South Street Seaport”


Brad Hargett of Crystal Stilts

The weather Friday night was perfect for the summertime show at South Street Seaport where Bradford Cox would be sharing music from his solo project, Atlas Sound. First to take the stage by the boats was an act blowing in from Brooklyn. Crystal Stilts offered a sanguine psychedelic sound. Miss Frankie Rose’s exceptional drumming was the driving force behind the music and like one of her influences, Moe Tucker from The Velvet Underground, she played standing up. She also incorporated the tambourine and intertwined rich harmonies that contrasted with the lead vocalist Brad Hargett’s own deep voice quite nicely. J.B. Townsend and Andy Adler rounded out the quartet providing guitar and bass, and gave full body flavor with a Britpop splash. This ensemble is adept at channeling the sixties psychedelic style of The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys and The Doors.


Bradford Cox of Atlas Sound


Bradford Cox of the headlining act, Atlas Sound, mesmerized the summertime crowd with hypnotic electronic music. His calm, ambient style captivated the audience and few were able to move from their places. Cox's work with Atlas Sound is distinguishable from his other rowdier work with Deerhunter. The Atlanta-based artist is a founding member of the Deerhunter. With Atlas Sound, Mr. Cox has created an album that focuses on vocals, electronics and guitar with a gentler sound. Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel contains numerous tracks that charm the listener into following Mr. Cox’s lead. Being near the water was appropriate for the floating feelings that his music induces. We were set adrift by tracks “Quarantined” and “Recent Bedroom.” Although not featured on the album, “Cold and Golden” is another beautiful song that seduces the listener into swaying in a still spot along to the music.

The vocal range of Mr. Cox is impressive and his tone borders on hopeful and wistful all at once. He pays tribute to the doo-wop style of the fifties and sixties with his vocal styling and certain songs remind me of such doo-wop classics as “Since I Don’t Have You.” The closing number, “Logos” which Mr. Cox dubbed “the rocker” of his set, was indeed a quick-time tune with a country feel. In a word, Atlas Sound is ethereal.

For more information about Crystal Tilts, log onto:myspace.com/crystalstilts



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