Punknews.org
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (Cover Artwork)

Deerhunter

Deerhunter: Halcyon DigestHalcyon Digest (2010)
4AD Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: SpookySpooky
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Let me start by saying that I think 4AD is a great label. With bands such as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, St. Vincent and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear's Department of Eagles, it's plain to see that Deerhunter fit perfectly with their roster of artists. Ever since Microcastle/Weird Era Cont., t.
iTunes StoreAmazon


Let me start by saying that I think 4AD is a great label. With bands such as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, St. Vincent and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear's Department of Eagles, it's plain to see that Deerhunter fit perfectly with their roster of artists.

Ever since Microcastle/Weird Era Cont., these guys have been amazingly consistent in putting together solid releases; however, Halcyon Digest might just be their best yet. Each song brings something different to the table and works together to create a unique, dreamy experience well known to fans of this particular band. The album is reminiscent of their 2009 EP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange, but has its own brand of warmth and creativity.

The first track, "Earthquake" opens the album with a quiet acoustic guitar before Deerhunter's shimmering sounds fade in and out throughout the course of the song. Overall, It's a subtle tune with some trippy, muffled vocals alongside some orchestration.

I won't waste time reviewing each track, but there are quite a few standouts. "Memory Boy" is a great song whose lyrics are somber and reflective, with frontman Bradford Cox singing, "Try to recognize your son; in your eyes he's gone." The lyrics paint a picture of loss and loneliness so vividly that it's hard not to be drawn in by every word. Definitely another reason to give this album a listen.

Another track worth mentioning is the closer "He Would Have Laughed," a tribute to the late garage rocker Jay Reatard. With the song clocking in at over seven minutes, this is definitely one of the standout tracks here. The song starts off slow with Cox droning "Only bored as I get older..." before changing gears completely to a lazier rendition, slowly adding guitars and drums. A touching tribute, this one should not go unheard. Cox's lyrics dealing with being a misguided youth, boredom and frustration for the coming times are pretty sobering, and one can't help but relate to his lamentations.

Something else worth noting is the production of the album. Ben Allen (Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion and Fall Be Kind EP) was chosen for Halcyon Digest and the results are fantastic. Multiple layers of reverb and carefully placed distortion give this album an almost aquatic feel that sounds both haunting and nostalgic on most tracks.

A perfect example of this would be the track "Helicopter," perhaps one of the all-time best songs the band has done so far. One of the slower songs on here, the subject matter is anything but optimistic, instead relying on personal pain, remorse and fear of the future for its content. The line "I'm tired of my pain" is possibly an allusion to Bradford Cox's illness, Marfan Syndrome, which in itself is pretty emotionally driven. Perhaps one of the saddest lines is when Bradford Cox sings in the chorus, "No one cares for me / I keep no company. I have minimal needs / and now they are through with me." I also recommend checking out the video to this one, as it keeps up well with the theme of invented and condensed memories of the past.

Please do yourself a favor and get this--it's absolutely amazing. It seems a lot of time, effort and dedication were poured into Deerhunter's new release and it shows from the very first song to the farewell at the end. I'm glad these guys are still around making great music and hope to hear more amazing albums like Halcyon Digest in the future.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Hold Steady - Stay PositiveVampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of The CityDum Dum Girls - I Will BeNo Age - NounsThe Thermals - Personal LifeNeutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The SeaNo Age - Everything in BetweenHüsker Dü - New Day RisingSmith Westerns - Dye It BlondeMy Bloody Valentine - Loveless

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Marizo (November 17, 2010)

One of my favorite albums released this year. Though I was expecting alot of the inevitable "lol hipster/pitchfork bullshit" comments

eatdogs (November 15, 2010)

geeze... some of you people sound like old farts from the 60's talking trash on the, then current scene of arts and music... this isn't an awful album by far. in fact, it's one of the best of 2010. "this rant gets the around the world and back snap!"

mrdogg45 (November 15, 2010)

Shitty record.

boobthemusicindustry (November 15, 2010)

Deerhunters the best i love them so much they are so cute.

greg0rb (November 14, 2010)

Yeah I agree... people liking a band is never a good sign.

hobbzoid (November 13, 2010)

everything about this band including endless press praise equals one big fucking bore.

Spooky (November 12, 2010)

A little more listening made me change my mind a bit I suppose. I actually can't decide whether I like this or Microcastle more, both are so great.

greg0rb (November 12, 2010)

I like this but it's still growin on me. Doesn't speak to me quite as much as Microcastles. Does anyone else hear a lo-fi Strokes vibe on some of these songs? Also, you didn't say a bad thing about the album, and I think you even called it a masterpiece. An 8? Seems you shoulda went higher.

yummygrass (November 12, 2010)

I'm not getting it. This album was said to be one of the year's best. I just am getting tired of this stuff. It's okay, but not a freakin' masterpiece like all them kids be saying

yummygrass (November 12, 2010)

I'm not getting it. This album was said to be one of the year's best. I just am getting tired of this stuff. It's okay, but not a freakin' masterpiece like all them kids be saying

slowstupidhungry (November 12, 2010)

"Ariel Pink??s Haunted Graffiti"

Wow, 4AD puts out that shit? Weird to think the former label of Red House Painters has anything to do with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN5iYMiazr8

chipsahoycookie (November 12, 2010)

this band is god awful. had to sit through their set and it was the worst experience of my life.

dlangl4 (November 12, 2010)

One shot. Two is pussy.

eatdogs (November 12, 2010)

this is their best yet. fantastic album. "helicopter" is such a smoother...

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


The Fest 13

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go