“I get bored as I get older”
In 2008, Deerhunter released their critically acclaimed album Microcastle. Expanding their sound beyond the drone of their first album, Cryptograms, Deerhunter found a broader audience with a polished sound recalling 60‘s pop and psychadelic music. Following that, lead singer Bradford Cox and guitarist Lockett Pundt jumped full speed into their respective side projects: Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza. Each album had it’s own sound that expanded upon Deerhunter’s signature vibe. Atlas Sound’s album Logos was critically acclaimed, ending up near the top on many critics’ Best Albums of 2009 lists. After a much needed hiatus, Deerhunter returned to the studio to record their 4th album, Halcyon Digest.
Halcyon Digest certainly isn’t your typical Deerhunter album, and if you were expecting Microcastle 2.0 you’re going to be disappointed. This album is laced with a variety of diverse tracks each tailoring their own unique personality. Tracks such as “Earthquake,” “Helicopter,” and “He Would Have Laughed” have a nostalgic feeling to them, showcasing the darker side of Cox’s lyricism. This is one of Halcyon Digest’s most redeeming qualities; immediately it sounds more intimate and emotional than their previous work.
“No one cares for me, I keep no company”
But in between the heart-wrenching lyrics of “Helicopter” and the Jay Reatard tribute song “He Would Have Laughed” are some fantastic pop songs. “Revival,” “Fountain Stairs,” and “Coronado” are the kind of tunes that you secretly find yourself tapping your feet and bobbing your head to. “Revival” remains one of the more upbeat songs channelling the 50’s pop era, making it a perfect single. While “Fountain Stairs” stays true to Deerhunter’s original sound. “Coronado” features a child-like opening riff that would sound perfect as background music for an iPod commercial, before it breaks down into a wild and hectic saxophone solo.
Deerhunter has been edging their way into indie superstardom for a few years now. Halcyon Digest proves that Deerhunter has evolved into one of independent music’s most talented and acclaimed acts. Check out Halcyon Digest in the Preview Rack next week.
-Brennan & Adam