Album Review
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest Album Cover

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Reviewed by
DeerhunterHalcyon Digest
Record Label: 4AD
Release Date: September 28, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Bradford Cox is an absolute beast. His knack for writing submersible pop is undeniable. With sophomore releases from both Deerhunter and his side project, Atlas Sound, he proved that his song writing gets better with each brightly tuned melody that emerges out of his musical intellect. While we live in a time where almost every new band is trying to make a "defining" statement with each attempt at a new genre that certain websites come up with on a month to month, it doesn't sound like Deerhunter are trying to think so much about their footprint, as just making one. More importantly, it looks like they want it to be a natural print at that.

After the behemoth of a pop rock - and at times a bit bluesy - album that Microcastle was, Halcyon Digest follows much in its path, but it also travels down a new one. Deerhunter have ditched a bit of swagger for a more floating vibe across their next endeavor. While singles like "Helicopter" and "Revival" sound like b-sides to the band's last album, we're rewarded first with "Earthquake," a mural that is being painted and blooms before our eyes in exactly five minutes. "Sailing" feels honest from beginning to end as it seems like the simplest and most stripped recording of the entire album.

Many Deerhunter fans will take note of how close Digest will sound to 2009's Logos, with its airy delivery and entrancing mood, but rest assured, "Helicopter," "Coronado" and the blazing seven minute "Desire Lines" feels all of Deerhunter as a band, and not just "one of Cox's projects." Take the marching backbone of "Memory Boy" and its knack for showcasing a broad sounding piece, or the Western tinge of "Fountain Stairs" as examples of a group of musicians weaving traditional (to the point of simple) songwriting and bold timbre. There are times when you can pick out artists like Spoon and Grizzly Bear feeling comfortable with their creations, and Deerhunter are in that same boat on this album. You can hear each members' comfort level with the other members of the band.

Upon repeat listens, there's not one point of Halcyon Digest that feels like it was overly thought out. Sure, there's some added elements on tape to heighten the overall experience and really encapsulate and entrance the listener, but in no way do I feel fooled into purposely placed tricks to be "new" or "inventive." (read cheap.) Deerhunter has given us a wonderful record to close out the summer and begin the cool weather. Relax. Enjoy the walk to work. Take pleasure in your time off on the weekends. This album will make for the perfect background to your feet in the grass and head in the clear sky this Fall and Winter.

Track Listing1. Earthquake*
2. Don't Cry
3. Revival
4. Sailing*
5. Memory Boy
6. Desire Lines**
7. Basement Scene
8. Helicopter*
9. Fountain Stairs
10. Coronado*
11. He Would Have Laughed

*key tracks

Recommended If You LikeSpoon's Transference; Atlas Sound's Logos; Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
12:06 AM on 09/28/10
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birtcho's Avatar
Gonna need to check this out
12:08 AM on 09/28/10
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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Argentine's Avatar
I like a few tracks off Microcastle and this seems to be a much better album.
03:14 AM on 09/28/10
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
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mymusicismylife's Avatar
So good.
05:10 AM on 09/28/10
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bolgy99's Avatar
This is damn good.
05:27 AM on 09/28/10
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No Avatar Selected
Now i can't wait to listen to this. Great review.
07:05 AM on 09/28/10
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xsinkshipsx's Avatar
MattDennis will write on this thread...his dick is harder for this band than a 14 year old for Megan fox
10:00 AM on 09/28/10
Holly HoX!
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Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Rating should be higher - top five of the year.

I've listened to "Helicopter" so many times already.
10:21 AM on 09/28/10
Kicking it middle school
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this cd is fantastic, i dunno if i like it more then Microcastle, but fantastic none the less. This and Sufjan are getting all of my attention.
11:21 AM on 09/28/10
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meroki22's Avatar
sooooooo gooooood
05:18 PM on 09/28/10
They call me Lloyd Braun
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No Avatar Selected
i think the rating is quite accurate. this album is extremely solid and great but as a whole i still don't think it's as solid as "microcastle"(which is a 95%). microcastle is one of my personal favorite from the 2000's and that album flowed seamlessly from track to track and is pure brilliance.

don't quite understand how someone can only like a few tracks from microcastle. that's like saying you only like a few tracks on radiohead's "Kid A". album is meant to be listened as a whole from beginning to end, like most of deerhunters music.
07:01 PM on 09/28/10
boy, we made such a mess together.
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jessicaa__'s Avatar
MattDennis will write on this thread...his dick is harder for this band than a 14 year old for Megan fox
Hahaha. Nice, Alex.

Amazing album.
08:20 PM on 09/28/10
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MattDennis's Avatar
MattDennis will write on this thread...his dick is harder for this band than a 14 year old for Megan fox

Haha correct on both claims sir. Bought this album today and it's just as great as I could have hoped. Basement Scene is my jam right now...but there isn't a bad track found here. I miss all the guitar squall less than I thought I would. AOTY potential no question.

EDIT: Desire Lines is Pundt's greatest moment yet, and one of this album's best. No question.
09:55 PM on 09/29/10
Nuns On A Bus
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Nuns On A Bus's Avatar
Phew, when you said that Revival and Helicopter sounded like b-sides to Microcastle I almost just stopped reading because I thought that you were saying that they weren't good. Awesome album, top 5 of the year for me for sure.
09:55 AM on 09/30/10
Take Apart Your Head
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Shatter_Glass's Avatar
Good review, REALLY good album. If you haven't listened to Deerhunter before, this is your ticket :D

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