Dan Deacon

America is a 2012 studio album by American electronic musician Dan Deacon. The album cover is a photo of Lake Placid. America was recorded using both electronic sounds and live recordings.

An anechoic (echo-free) chamber was built in Baltimore to record the orchestral track ‘Rail.’ Deacon felt that electronic beats were limited by a lack of flaws; he said that he wanted the ‘slight imperfection in timing’ human musicians have.

Because he wanted the album to sound ‘more like a rock record’ than an electronic one, Deacon enlisted King Crimson engineer Simon Heyworth to master the album. In an interview with NPR, Deacon said that the album was inspired by the politics and geography of the United States, saying: ‘The music is definitely inspired by geography. I do many, many cross-country trips a year because I tour, and it’s hard to — you could really despise every aspect of what you think American culture is but it’s hard to deny that the land itself is beautiful. Do you know what I mean?’

Deacon described the album as ‘political,’ saying that the lyrics were ‘[..] inspired by my frustration, fear and anger towards the country and world I live in and am a part of.’ However, he also said that he did not want the political nature to be overt, arguing that people do not respond to overt political messages.

‘Rail’ was inspired by an empty train ride Deacon was on while traveling from Seattle to New York City, as well as an orchestral work Deacon wrote for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. ”Manifest’ was about figuring out where I fit in regards to the way my mind perceives me,’ while ”True Thrush’ was about confusion and loss of self and the homogenization of culture.’ The track ‘USA I: Is A Monster’ took its name from the rock band The USA Is a Monster. The music video for ‘True Thrush’ was directed by Ben O’ Brien and Deacon, and featured teams of people playing a skit-based game of telephone.


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