Glasgow's Delgados write songs like Grimm Brothers fairy tales. From first album Domestiques onward, band co-founders Emma Pollock and Alun Woodward have played the innocents abroad, their sweet vocal melodies a bread-crumb trail through Sonic Youth-inspired guitar pyrotechnics and, beginning with 2000's The Great Eastern, an enchanted forest of shimmering dream-pop orchestration.
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But there's always been a darkness menacing at the edges of the Delgados' magical mystery tours, a lurking self-hatred. Which is why Hate, the Delgados' new LP, is important: Pollock, always the more affecting singer, in particular seems to feed off the intensity that comes from facing the thing that's been haunting you. This is especially true of "Woke From Dreaming," where her composed, naif-style vocals shine a frightening light into a murderous, hallucinogenic echo chamber. And with the aid of dreamweaver Dave Fridmann, the Delgados have again layered a lush sound onto the backs of songs so delicate they seem like they should break under the pressure. But, this being a fairy tale, they don't; they fly.