21 Sep 2010

Review | Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
If you've been following my blog, you will know that I've recently been obsessed with Deerhunter. I like to refer to them as 'My Bloody Valentine 2.0'. A shoegaze band for us young ones. I compare the two because of their similar songwriting processes. Lyrics aren't very important to either band and it's all "stream of consciousness" writing.

I've been waiting for the new Deerhunter for months now and finally, I've got it. Let me start of by saying, Deerhunter has always confused me a little, but only because of the huge variety of musical directions and variations their albums offer, but their new album, Halcyon Digest, screams of a band that has found its feet. It's slipped into a pair of Air Force One's and has taken to kicking ass and leaving names, because names are irrelevant.

The album starts out with a the minimalistic "Earthquake" and it took me a little by surprise, because Deerhunter are fantastic at creating wonderfully layered musical, but by the item "Don't Cry" starts I'm smiling. It's a wonderful poppy ditty that is about is traditionally "indie" as I've heard that band.

"Revival" is a more typically Deerhunter track, with long build ups, tons of layers, but it's more melodic than expected, yet again, another good surprise. "Sailing" is my least favourite track on the album, it's very bare, but very haunting, but one trend I am noticing is Cox's more adventurous and fleshed out lyrics.

When "Desire Lines" starts, the album changes, it takes off and it's because that is where guitarist Lockett Pundt's songwriting comes to the fore. It's a hypnotising, textured post punk masterpiece and after my first listen, this was the track I listened to on repeat.

"Basement Scene" and "Fountain Stairs" could be songs off Deerhunter's magical "Microcastle", but luckily for us, they're not. They're slow, hypnotic and brilliantly constructed and also serve as the perfect prelude and sequel to the one track I heard off the album before it was released, "Helicopter". This song defies explanation, Cox's clear vocals are clean, undistorted and the melody makes me want to go and lie down on the grass, turn it up and forget about the world.

"Coronado" surprised me the most on the album though. With Julian Casablanca'esque vocals, this jangly number begs the question, "why don't all songs have a saxophone in them?"

The final track on the album completes what I think to be Deerhunter's coming of age album. "He would've laughed" is a poignant track dedicated to Cox's dear friend (and personal punk rock hero), Jay Reatard who died earlier this year. The song is so well crafted that after four minutes, it descends into a self destructive, stripped down and vulnerable Cox paying tribute to his friend. This song is 7:29 long, but it could've 70:29 for all I care. It's phenomenal and the perfect way to end what I consider to be front runner for album of 2010.



  1. i am serially pleased that you dig them, too. yay-ness.

  2. Yeah, I love Deerhunter man!