Deerhunter’s eighth LP is a sci-fi salve for 21st-century anxietyThe conceit of Deerhunter’s eighth full-length, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, is that it’s a science-fiction album about the present—the glorious, anxiety-ridden, fear-laden present. It may not be the case that people are more scared than they’ve ever been, though one could make a great argument for it. But we remain inundated, via social media and other information delivery services, by every nightmare and all possibilities of terror, world-round and without end. Recorded in the creative haven of Marfa, Texas, WHEAD? doesn’t communicate the sonic equivalent of those feelings. With the exception of its colder moments—the strange drip-drip percussion of “Tarnung” gives it a detached, alien chill—and the existential dilemmas of singer Bradford Cox’s lyrics, the album often feels like a salve. You get the feeling you’ve been thrust into a dream, temporarily torn from the present in order to observe it, understand what’s going on, and return to reality with new tools to keep that all-encompassing fear at bay.