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Halcyon Digest

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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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 (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,850 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I wasn't familiar with this band at all when I bought the album. I liked the sound of the samples and frankly, the cover and title intrigued me. I'm glad I went with my instinct because I can't stop listening to this record. It's beautiful and strange. The music has this timeless feel to it while still feeling very exciting and new. The singers voice is just incredibly interesting and a mix between forlorn and reflective. At times, there's a playful quality in his voice that hinges on romantic. The themes of the album seem to be about getting older and how to connect with friends and loved ones. My favorite songs are "Memory Boy", "He Would Have Laughed", "Basement Scene" and "Helicopter". It's not like anything I've heard despite hearing some influences (mostly, early 60's pop radio kind of dreamy stuff) and anytime I put the vinyl on, I always want to stop what I'm doing and listen to it. I've listened to the album from front to back about four times already.
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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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