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Halcyon Digest CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Sept. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B003XX2PD6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,043 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 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

Product Description

BBC Review

The law of diminishing returns should by all rights apply to Atlanta, Georgia’s Deerhunter. Halcyon Digest is their fourth LP since 2005. In addition to those albums proper, they’ve released two EPs, frontman Bradford Cox and guitarist Lockett Pundt have released solo albums (Cox has even found time for two), and 2008’s Microcastle was repackaged with an extra full length album, Weird Era Cont. And that’s not quite all, as several unofficial tracks and mixes have been released onto the ‘net via the band’s own blog.

Churning out that much music with machine-like regularity should result in a dip in quality. Yet it hasn’t appeared. Instead, Deerhunter have continued to evolve and they’ve done it without losing their innovative, defiant spirit or knack for crafting swirling guitar pop epics and reverb drenched soundscapes. Curiously, Deerhunter’s forward-looking evolution is fuelled largely by nostalgia, one seeped in childhood memories and the joys of discovering music prior to the push a button, out it pops gratification of the MP3 era.

Halcyon Digest is no exception to this oxymoronic rule. Inspired in part by old DIY band flyers and early 80s art-rock acts, the album is another step away from the ambient punk and noise rock tags that followed the band in the wake of their early LPs. The propulsive kosmische beats and noisy tics that first brought Deerhunter to the attention of an international cadre of music bloggers are now completely gone. Don’t Cry still carries the guitar fuzz of past work but it’s the echoing, empty terrains explored on Sailing and Cox’s aching croon on Basement Scene – a swaying ode to the perpetually fading idealism of DIY music scenes – that captures the wistful tone of Halcyon Digest.

Not that this makes Halcyon Digest an exercise in navel gazing. The Pundt-penned Desire Lines offers up an anthemic burst of chiming guitars and soaring vocals. It’s one of the album’s highlights and a reminder that the quiet guitarist’s talents are perhaps every bit the equal of the more boisterous Cox. He Would Have Laughed, an emotive tribute to Jay Reatard, is a glorious, seven-minute closer that holds its head high as Cox ruminates over the death of the young garage-rocker against a wall of looping beats and guitars.

Throughout all this, though, lies a sense of warm experimentation that should feel familiar to fans of Deerhunter’s unique brand of ambience-loving indie-rock. Halcyon Digest is simply another solid entry in the discography of a mighty band. A band whose accomplishments to date have, in the larger scheme of things, already made that question about diminishing returns completely irrelevant.

--Charles Ubaghs

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I discovered Deerhunter through their excellent third album "Microcastle" in 2008, their first album released by 4AD. Now, with "Halcyon Digest", their "ambient punk" sound has progressed to a kind of a dreamy lo-fi "psychedelic 60s" popsound. The production is lush and clearly showing a more accessible band, with great melodic songs. The songs "Revival", "Helicopter", "Coronado" and "Memory Boy" show exactly that. "Desire Lines" and "Fountain Stairs", with their beautiful wall of sound effect, are two other favorite tracks from this amazing album. And last but not least, remember to check out the great Atlas Sound album "Logos", released last year. Atlas Sound is the hobbyband-project to Deerhunter frontman Brad Cox.
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Format: Audio CD
Last year's Atlas Sound album "Logos" from the Bradford Cox inspired side project was a wicked delight and, therefore, it is a pleasure to report that his primary source of music making namely the band "Deerhunter" originating out Atlanta, Georgia have come out firing on all cylinders on this brilliant fourth album. Firstly it needs to be registered that a slight problem may be in store for those of you still deeply smitten by the 2008 double album and wall of guitar noise beast "Microcastle"​ since this is altogether a very different proposition. Praise or blame for this must be partly apportioned to the presence of Ben Allen at the mixing desk, this is the man who after all conjured up the sonic alchemy in terms of Animal Collective's 2009 genre-defining masterpiece "Merriweather Post Pavilion".

Check out the watery and sweet "Helicopter" on "Halycon Digest" and note the presence of otherworldly elements which Avey Tare, Panda Bear and co teased to the forefront on Merriweather (and for good measure also seek out one of the plethora of mixes of this song on the net not least the joyous Star Slinger mash up every bit the darker cousin of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead"). Truly, wonderful stuff in both guises. Then you have the latest single "Revival" a mix of Brian Wilson-like "Smile" induced psychedelia and 70's glam rock. This deserves to a chart smash but of course pigs will fly. The six minute plus "Desire lines" alternatively suggests that the Cox might have had an advance copy of the Arcade Fire's "Suburbs" and is full of minor baroque and theatrical flourishes leading up to a storming conclusion which has become the Montreal minstrels signature sound.
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Format: Audio CD
I flogged this when it came out, loved it. Then I put it away. However having a bit of an obsessive personality, 'Desire Lines' came into my head last week and kept going around, I thought the best way to exorcise it was to listen to the album. And god, what an album it is. I had heard their earlier efforts, and thought they were good, but every now and again a band or artist just seems to put out something that you think 'where did that come from', every thing just falls into place and they just blast off.
From the dreamy opener 'Earthquake', which is like listening to a beautiful painting, to the down and dirty 'Coronado', with its snakey sax, 'Halcion Digest' takes you on a trip from the 50's to the 90's, the poignant 'Helocoptor' tugs at the heart strings, while 'Memory Boy', looks back to long gone adolescent memories. But the clincher for me is still 'Desire Lines', seven or so minutes of pure bliss, From the sparkling sunny chorus, to that epic duelling guitar passage that takes it out, You just close your eyes and go with it, it takes you to a good place. This is one of those rare albums that doesn't have a dud on it.
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Format: Audio CD
Bradford Cox is a man who has spent a long time playing the part of indie-darling. Critics and fans alike have rushed to praise his musical expeditions with both Deerhunter and the off-shot band Atlas Sound. One critisism I've constantly seen directed at him however is that he has yet to create that one truly great peice of work that will forever define his legacy, his 'Sgt. Pepper' so to speak (I don't concur with this consensus though, I thought the last Deerhunter record 'Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.' was a remarkable peice of work). I fear this album will sadly fall to the same fate. It is another great body of work but I think some will struggle to see past its slightly primitive exterior in order to witness its beautiful centre.

I came to this record expecting to hear something altogether different from its predecessor, early reviews talked of a 'stripped down' sound and a wider array of instruments used to complement the arrangements. To me, it sounded just like another Deerhunter record (albeit a slightly evolved one). The slightly off-kilter Beatles-esque pop songs remained, the C86-era sound pallette was still in evidence and Cox's voice still possesed a slight Stephen Malkmus like slacker drawl. So far, so Deerhunter. But one ingredient had added just a little spice, that being the production skills of Ben H. Allen. Last year Allen lent his vast skills to produce the Animal Collective's magnum opus (thus far!) 'Merriweather Post Pavilion', and 'Halcyon Digest' shares many a similarity with that monumental release. Both albums seem to have water cursing through their musical veins, obscuring the sound ever so slightly and putting the overall musical vision just out of reach.
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