Album Review: Dan Deacon - Mystic Familiar

27 January 2020 | 9:02 am | Guido Farnell

"Deacon's fecund imagination [...] takes us to strange and weird destinations of unimaginable beauty."

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In the past couple of years, Dan Deacon shifted away from producing more albums and explored scoring for film, and Mystic Familiar is his first proper album since 2015's Gliss Riffer. Here Deacon sings on his electronic pop songs, yet after reeling us in with a bunch of hooks, his need for experimentation has this album explode in a kaleidoscope of psychedelic sound. 

The cascading pianos of Be A Mountain takes listeners somewhere joyous and beautiful where it's impossible not to feel hopeful and optimistic. Apparently, Deacon used Brian Eno’s iconic Oblique Strategies and practiced meditation as prompts to get the album completed. To this end, there is a transcendent majesty to each of these tracks that clearly seek escape to a higher state of consciousness. The cosmic journey may only happen in the mind’s eye but as we drift to these intense blobs of electronic sound, it's Deacon's fecund imagination that takes us to strange and weird destinations of unimaginable beauty. From the dreamy Fell Into The Ocean to the trippy soundscapes of Bumble Bee Crown King, it’s a delight to simply lose yourself in Deacon's quirky pop-surreal universe.