Halcyon Digest

Studio Album by released in 2010

Halcyon Digest review

Deerhunter know no stylistic bounds

Musical critics scream their lungs out to make the loudest statement of respect and esteem for the Deerhunter ensemble. This US-based quartet enjoy a never-ending love from experts because their albums always have something to be hotly discussed. So far, it has not been even decided yet how to call the music Deerhunter make. Their material, indeed, is very diversified and broad, while the musicians do not even think about placing themselves inside any stylistic boundaries as they play anything they want to express what they feel and think. It seems so that their leader, Bradford Cox, has listened to so many genres that now he is perfectly knowledgeable in how to join different trends into something that you can call but a fascinating music. Overloaded by his own ideas and feeling that Deerhunter alone is not enough, he launched another project, Atlas Sound. For the last five years, Bradford and his company have released several awesome records characterized by stylistic variety and unexpectedness. The new Deerhunter studio work, Halcyon Digest, in many parts follows the highlights of the previous records and, at the same time, offers a couple of innovations.

Nostalgia and light sadness on Halcyon Digest

Halcyon Digest can, in some sense, be put in contrast to the one that came before it, Microcastle. That album was a real puling of styles, which seemed the aim, and should have been only a way to achieve it. The ensemble’s fresh effort reflects some movement towards order and system. Deerhunter grew up and do not find delight in the process of experimentation itself any more. The musicians decided to offer something completely different from what we could have expected. In the age of endless darkened, conceptual and complex records, they delivered a CD that will not blow your mind with instrumental overkills and gadgets. The core of the record is accessible and light pop-themes which, played by Deerhunter, turn into something mesmerizing and magical. It all starts with a ballad called Earthquake that drowns in ambient. The follow-up track, Don’t Cry, brings back to life the spirit of the seventies or eighties; and nostalgia will stay with you up to the end of the album. This time, the band has brought so much ballad music like never before – beside the mentioned tracks, you can add here Sailing, Basement Scene, and the charming single Helicopter. When the tempo rises, the melancholy still remains. Yet this sadness is not pessimistic, like in Revival, or Coronado. Heavy application of saxophone makes the presence of the long gone times even stronger.

Impressive outcomes of the band’s fast growth

Sooner or later indie-rockers grow up and stop their chaotic running back and forth among genres and stop following blindly their older colleagues. Deerhunter are ready now to say good bye to the label of a young band that falls victim to instability and emotional high and lows. After a streak of the line-up disturbances, having tried in their music everything they wanted, the musicians put a solid foundation for further growth. Halcyon Digest is the band’s fourth album that looks to be accepted as their best effort in the entire discography. Not everyone will be able to see behind the external musical simplicity an adjustment to a retro-style, to feel a peculiar atmosphere, and enjoy both of them. In the meantime, this does not mean that the given record reduces the value of the previous albums. This one should rather be seen as a logical continuation of the story titled Deerhunter, a result of the band’s rapid growth.