[Kranky; 2012]

Bradford Cox isn’t the only member of Deerhunter to branch out on his own and have a side project these days. Guitarist Lockett Pundt has been keeping busy with Lotus Plaza and prepping for the release of his second full-length album, Spooky Action at a Distance, on April 2 via Kranky. “Strangers” is the first single from his latest effort, providing a glimpse of what’s to come.

Those who have listened to and loved the Pundt-led Deerhunter track “Desire Lines” will immediately feel familiar with “Strangers.” As opposed to the lo-fi quality in the vocals of his previous album The Floodlight Collective, Pundt’s vocals are at the forefront of the track. And of course, he brought his signature guitar-jangled melodies on top of the rollicking drums to create that hazy ephemeral soundscape, shifting to a more sluggish pace towards the last minute of the song.

“Strangers” is a solid track. The problem is that it doesn’t fall too far from the Deerhunter tree. The teetering between psychedelic pop and shoegaze is a sound that isn’t something new anymore. That’s not necessarily a bad trait, it’s just a bit of variety and diversity wouldn’t hurt for Lotus Plaza. Hopefully when Spooky Action at a Distance comes out, it’ll prove me wrong.

MP3:Lotus Plaza – “Strangers”