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Halcyon Digest

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Audio CD, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Halcyon Digest is Deerhunter's fourth album and their first to be released on 4AD worldwide. The album was recorded in at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Deerhunter's hometown of Athens, GA with the band self-producing and Ben Allen enlisted to mix it (he also worked on Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion).
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad Records
  • ASIN: B003XX2PD6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Mitchell on September 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Halcyon Digest is simply a beautiful album. The production is lush and detailed, which compliments the band's more dreampop-leaning sound on this album perfectly. This is more of a pop album than Cryptograms or Microcastle, and only one song ("Desire Lines") features one of Deerhunter's characteristic guitar drone/jam-outs. That said, the songwriting here is mature and tight, and there is at most one song on this album that's skip-worthy. In my view, the second half is stronger than the first, but this is a solid listen all the way through and will likely be one of my top albums of the year. Top songs: "Fountain Stairs," "Desire Lines," "Helicopter," "Coronado."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy T. Janszen on October 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
A halcyon is a mythical bird said to have the power to charm the wind and waves into calmness. Deerhunter do just that on their latest release, Halcyon Digest.

Maybe the album title should have given it away, but when I pressed play I expected a fourth dose of their complicated, partially-disruptive instrument style wrapped around Bradford Cox's mid-toned, pace-setting voice. Maybe even a track that sounds like the band is tuning their instruments or forgot for 33 seconds that the "On Air" sign was illuminated. None of that lives on Halcyon. What you get this time from Deerhunter is a greater calmness, more patience, and a perfectly listenable collection of songs. And you will happily take it.

The album moves freely inside a short range of sounds. From the atmospheric, and surprisingly gentle opener, "Earthquake," to the more pepped-up and jangly "Revival" Halcyon just doesn't roam wild. What catches this listener by pleasant surprise is the undisrupted, melodic style; the simplicity of the patterns in the songs; and how much more I appreciate Bradford Cox's voice as an integral part of the listening experience.

The back half of the album is more traditional Deerhunter with the punchy "Desire Lines" and ghosty and semi-distant "Basement Scene," but overall still greatly restrained. At no point do the guitars run away with it or does a song just drop off into oblivion or morph into some stacked loops of percussion, vocals, and strings. It holds tightly together to the finish.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Last years 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. That said 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 try not to 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, 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 and 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory William Locke on November 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'm proud to admit that I own at least one copy of everything Deerhunter-related, including the overrated 1978 Michael Cimino war-era drama. To me, Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox is what we all sit around tailking about: an artist who knows what came before, digested it and found a way to produce something new-yet-familiar that is forever covered, front to back, with his unique fingerprints. No one has ever sounded like Bradford Cox before, but he's really not doing anything too weird or difficult, especially on this record, Halcyon Digest, the fifth proper Deerhunter full length (that's counting the band's impossible-to-get debut and the obscure Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night). The Deer's last record, 2008's double album, Mircocastle/Weird Era Continued, saw the Atlanta-based rockers taking leaps towards a more commercially accessible sound, a jump that continues on Halcyon.

The result is a sound that would've once been described as "college rock radio," but now, because it is both straightforward and strange, is harder to classify. Neither a proper Pitchfork/blog-era band or Rolling Stone outsider champion, Deerhunter could almost be described as a Radiohead-aware garage band with a kinda/sorta girly singer. That is, a garage band with some pretty cool tricks and toys, and a leader with lyrics and vocals too good to be screamed or buried in the mix.

Lengthy opener "Earthquake" is a slow, muddy and atmospheric stage-setter, showing that, once again, the Deers have some new cards to play. Despite its modest production, the song feels every bit as expansive and pseudo-progressive as a Radiohead cut.
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psychadelic indie rock?
check out Circus Devils, Tiga Lilly, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Swervedriver, Fleeting Joys, and No Joy.
Jun 25, 2014 by Ray |  See all 2 posts
Halcyon Digest Vinyl, w/ mp3 download?
I wouldn't think so unless it was specifically mentioned. It might be better to try and track it down on the artist's website specifically. BTW if you buy vinyls, you should demand a lossless (i.e. FLAC) download instead of just mp3. You can make mp3's out of FLAC files pretty easily, but if... Read More
Feb 13, 2011 by Mike Schmitt |  See all 4 posts
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