On the final installment of their three-part debut, The Deer Tracks shed their doe eyes. While The Archer Trilogy Pt. 2 twitched around stilted epics, eerie lullabies, and acerbic pop bursts, Pt. 3 funnels the Swedish duo’s itchy wanderlust into a series of sinewy organisms.
Despite the menace teased in its title and cover art, The Archer Trilogy maintains a playful innocence throughout. The fear of an invisible enemy — the archer behind the tracks — might serve as seed for these effervescent electro-pop songs, but it’s the kind of fear that grows beloved fables. Elin Lindfors’ childlike vocals creep over David Lehnberg’s high-contrast instrumentation, which veers from operatic ripples to soaring strings to dubstep bass, often within the same song.
On a purely technical level, The Deer Tracks seem to have found a more comfortable atmosphere to inhabit. Lehnberg’s instrumental matrices don’t feel as cramped as they did on parts one and two, pulsing with a more organic flow. Structurally, the album also hits a more confident stride. From the queasy “Divine Light” to the candied choruses on “Lazarus” to ghostly closer “Road to”, The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 pushes even further at the tonal boundaries established by its prequels. At points, the album’s adventurous spirit glitches a little out of control. Tracks like the bristly “Explodion” cut too sharply from simmering verses to a full-throttle chorus, like Sleigh Bells interrupting a Biophilia recording session.
The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 serves as an adrenalized finish to an ambitious project from two connoisseurs of chaos. The delicate frost patterns that encrusted Pt. 2 haven’t melted here, but this time, stronger muscles squirm underneath.
Essential Tracks: “Lazarus”, “Astral Ship”