In 2007, Dan Deacon experienced startling cultural self-awareness. While on his first European tour, the brain-bending electronic-pop party-starter spent time in Ireland and made friends with the natives. During one conversation, Deacon's Irish heritage came up. His new buddies asked what region his ancestors were from — Deacon didn't know. When did they come over? He couldn't answer that, either. "I started thinking, 'Well, I'm not Irish,' " the Baltimorean says. "Even if I were to move and spend the majority of my life here, I'd be an American living in Ireland. There's things about the culture that are ingrained in me that I'll never shed, and moving somewhere is not going to change that.'"
That incident, coupled with hours observing his homeland through car windows, inspired the fantastic America (Domino). Deacon's heavily layered new record is divided into two parts: five kinetic, shimmery tunes, and an exquisite, nuanced four-part suite called "USA." America is more interested in the country's gorgeous geography than its politics, but it's a remarkably optimistic take on the nation.
But America doesn't appreciate its subject in conventional ways. Multiple writers have noted that the album art (Richard Endres's chopper's-eye-view of Lake Placid) features both amber waves of grain and purple mountains. Was the reference intentional? "No, I think that's someone projecting," Deacon says with a chuckle.
DAN DEACON + HEIGHT WITH FRIENDS + MORE :: Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston :: November 13 @ 6 pm :: All Ages :: $13 :: 617.562.8800 or thedise.com
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