Between blockbuster franchises, AMC spin-off series, and mobile games, we’re steeped in a culture obsessed with the grotesque, amoral, and ever-hungry aspects of zombies. But when you peel back the decaying flesh and fatigued growls, they’re really just creatures of transformation. Considering the positive connotations behind, say the resurrection of Christ or the ascension of the phoenix from ashes, maybe we’ve grossly misinterpreted the trope of revival after disintegration. And while there have been plenty of groups that’ve rebuilt after a recess, few have done so as elegantly as Austin quintet The Deer.
Originally billed as Grace Park & The Deer, this band has undergone several stages of metamorphosis over the last decade, least notably Grace’s new last name. The Deer’s latest LP, 2019’s Do No Harm, introduced us to an evolved sound – bigger arrangements, fewer folk-centered acoustic instruments, and more emphasis on psychedelia and indie rock. Well, today, ever defying expectations, The Deer just announced yet another remolding record, The Beautiful Undead, out September 9th. As you can tell from the title, it’s an album about regeneration after loss, and its My Morning Jacket-esque lead single “I Wouldn’t Recognize Me” will leave you reflecting on your own past variations and those still to come.