Shifting sounds album-to-album, but always with skill, songsmith Dan Bejar has cut himself a singular figure in indie music. Yes, there is his previous work in indie-pop powerhouse The New Pornographers, but in recent years he’s focused solely on his own Destroyer. Have We Met sees Bejar go chill like the eighties, but also taking a look at that chill.
This is clearest on Met standout “Cue Synthesizer”, a chill song about chill songs that includes the now-ubiquitous instrument, but also the likes of eighties evening guitar solos. Bejar is intimate and conversational on the album, like with slyer opener “Crimson Tide” and stream-of-consciousness “The Raven” (“Just look at the world around you / Actually, no, don’t look”). He manages to both comment on being cool, while also actually being cool, such as on “The Man In Black’s Blues”.
There is some extended meandering on Have We Met that could have used some pairing back (see closer “foolssong”, or the sitar-esque instrumental title track), as it’s easy on a solo project like this to indulge oneself. But Dan Bejar is cool enough to pull it off.