New Music: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter is one of those musicians that folks have labeled as a genius long ago. I never really got it either. I thought 2007's Cryptograms was okay but didn't understand the hype around it. The double album of Microcastle/Weird Era Cont that the band released in 2008 was definitely more my speed, but I still didn't love it. Until Logos from Bradford's solo project Atlas Sound came out in 2009, I had never grasped what so many people love about Bradford Cox's music. That album is still in regular rotation at my house but I believe Deerhunter may have topped it with their new record, Halcyon Digest.

I'm about a week late on posting about this album and certainly most folks have read plenty about Halcyon Digest by now. It reminds me a bit of initially listening to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in that there are a few tunes on the album ('Earthquake' and 'Sailing') that don't work well as a standalone singles; but within the context of the album sound absolutely great.

There are still a decent amount of songs on the album that would work as singles and could propel Deerhunter to the indie stardom level that The National and Arcade Fire now enjoy. 'Helicopters' is one of the most mesmerizing tracks of the year and I'm pretty sure I played it back to back about a half dozen times the first time I heard it. Actually, the whole second half of the album from 'Memory Boy' all the way to the closing track 'He Would Have Laughed' is pretty brilliant.

I'll be lucky enough to catch Deerhunter while I'm in Chicago later this month since they don't have plans to come through the Kansas City area anytime soon. Hopefully their concerts live up to the expectations I have after listening to Halcyon Digest.


1 comment:

Poindexter said...

There has been a stringe of good albums released as of late (Black Angels, The Walkmen, Black Mountain) but I don't think any are as great (and I do mean great) as Deerhunter's latest. 'Halcyon Digest' is absolutely dominating my CD player. The closing track on the album 'He Would Have Laughed' (For Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr. AKA Jay Reatard) is easily one of my favorite songs of 2010. I would like to comment on guitarist Lockett Pundt. Not only do I love his ambient playing, but the guy can write as well. He wrote 2 songs on the album 'Desire Lanes' & Fountain Stairs' that are not to be overlooked. Lastly, how great is it that the Drive-By Trucker's producer David Barbe has his engineering hands involved with Deerhunter. Two bands with complete opposites in sounds. That's a well versatile producer/engineer.