For the last few years, Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox has played an annual "Christmas show" under his Atlas Sound moniker at a small club in New York. This year, Cox stopped by the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn for a sold out show in advance of his headlining gig at the Bowery Ballroom on Sunday night. Following a bouncy set from the Carnivores, who split the difference between Georgian weirdo-pop forebears the B-52s and the guitar squall of Sonic Youth, Cox took the stage at just after 1 a.m., greeting the crowd with a humorously appropriate, "Good morning." Admittedly, Cox wasn't his usual, chatty self (he has, apparently, had a "shitty fucking month" since he was last in town for CMJ), though that did little to undermine the intimacy of his late-night set. Working his way through haunting, spectral renditions of tracks from his latest Atlas Sound LP, Parallax, Cox remained workmanlike if a bit remote, seemingly lost in his own dense compositions. Armed with only an acoustic guitar and an assortment of effects pedals, Cox managed to conjure a variety of sounds: chiming, crystalline tones, echoing beats, heady drones. At one point, a fan in the front row loudly professed his love in an apparent attempt to cheer up the singer. "That is of some consolation to me, " Cox replied, finally cracking a smile.
Check out photos of Atlas Sound and Carnivores at the Bell House below: