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Deafheaven is an American post-black metal band that formed in 2010 in San Francisco, California, United States. The group began as a two-piece with George Clarke and Kerry McCoy who recorded and self-released a demo album together. After a warm reception, Deafheaven recruited three new members and began to tour. Before the close of 2010, the band signed to Deathwish Inc. and later released their debut album Roads to Judah in April 2011. The follow-up album, Sunbather, was released on June 11, 2013. After another lineup change, the band toured for the album extensively and are still on a massive international tour.Read More...
Deafheaven formed in February 2010 in San Francisco with vocalist George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy, who previously performed in a grindcore band together. Clarke isn’t sure how he arrived on the name Deafheaven, though he is aware of its appearance in William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29. The two words ‘deaf’ and ‘heaven’ were combined as an homage to Slowdive.
Clarke and McCoy recorded the Demo album in April 2010 at Atomic Garden Studios, which was released both on cassette tape in limited quantities and digitally. The untitled demo featured four songs that combined traditional screamo with black metal and post-rock. Originally, Deafheaven didn’t intend to release the material, but they later sent it out to a few of their favorite blogs.
After the demo had been positively received, Clarke and McCoy recruited three additional musicians - bassist Derek Prine, guitarist Nick Bassett of the shoegaze bands Whirr (formerly Whirl) and Nothing, and drummer Trevor Deschryver, who responded to an ad on Craigslist - to form a five-piece group, and started playing their first shows in July 2010.
Their debut full-length album Roads to Judah was released by Deathwish Inc. on April 26, 2011. As early as September 2011, Deafheaven announced they had begun writing new music for a potential split album, EP or full-length. At the time, McCoy described it as being "faster, darker, heavier and far more experimental" than their previous material. However, in December 2012, Clarke described their new material as less melancholic and less centered around black metal, but rather featuring a more "lush and rock-driven, even pop-driven" sound at times.
The new album, titled Sunbather, was written solely by founding members Clarke and McCoy. This was similar to the way the band's first demo was composed, and different from Roads to Judah, which was written as a five-piece band. The duo was also joined in the studio by new drummer Daniel Tracy, who "added his own drum style to already-constructed song skeletons." The title of the album reflects Clarke's idea of perfection. He stated that it's meant to represent "a wealthy, beautiful, perfect existence that is naturally unattainable and the struggles of having to deal with that reality because of your own faults, relationship troubles, family troubles, death, et cetera." Deafheaven entered the studio to record in January 2013 with Jack Shirley, and released the album on June 11, 2013 through Deathwish Inc.
Sunbather was critically acclaimed upon release. Metacritic rated the album 92/100, based on 18 reviews, and later declared it the best-reviewed major album of 2013. It was also Deafheaven's first release to chart on Billboard — it ranked at number 130 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top Heatseekers chart.
In addition to new drummer Daniel Tracy, who was a part of the band for the recording of Sunbather, the band recruited bassist Stephen Clark and guitarist Shiv Mehra for the 2013-2014 tours. Founding members Clarke and McCoy said previous band members parted ways due to difficulties with life on the road and earning little-to-no money.
Their music is described as “a dizzying hybrid of shoegaze shimmer, hardcore punk passion, emo vulnerability, and black metal intensity.” They have cited a wide range of musical influences, including, but not limited to: Morbid Angel, The Smiths, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Orchid and My Bloody Valentine.
Deafheaven Live: 2013 - 2014
George Clarke - Vocals
Kerry McCoy - Guitar
Shiv Mehra - Guitar
Stephen Clark- Bass
Daniel Tracy - Drums
2010 Demo (Remastered in 2012)
2011 DW Live Series 08: Live at The Blacktop 01.15.11
2011 Libertine Dissolves (single)
2011 Roads to Judah
2012 Split (with Bosse-de-Nage)
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsHindered by sober restlessness.
Submitting to the amber crutch.
The theme in my aching prose.
Fantasizing the sight of Manhattan;
That pour of a bitter red being that escapes a thin frame.
- Irresistible - 431,792 plays
- LyricsHeld my breath and drove through a maze of wealthy homes.
I watched how green the trees were.
I watched the steep walkways and the white fences.
I gripped the wheel.
I sweated against the leather.
- Please Remember - 288,414 plays
- LyricsDestined as the servant to the night where
your moon dreams of the dirt and the
sharp tongue of your zealous will is only
congruent with the salt in your mouth and
the approaching eulogy of the world. Lost
- Windows - 219,587 plays
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- Unrequited - 148,051 plays