Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

  • Non-gatefold
  • Lyrics included
  • White vinyl

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 3.5/5 (Good)

My second favorite album of 2010 and easily my favorite Deerhunter release, Halcyon Digest is a natural step forward for frontman Bradford Cox and company. Utilizing more organic instrumentation in his songwriting than in past efforts, Cox moves even further away from his ambient music roots in order to further embrace the more pop-oriented aspect of his musical psyche.

Halcyon Digest is full of catchy hooks, lonely atmospheres, and ambitious instrumentation that really (and finally) exemplify the remarkable musicianship that forms the foundation of the band. The track "Basement Scene" features all the appeal of the understated shoegaze-y-ness that Deerhunter has become known for. The lyrics are equally as amusing, focusing on the narrator's personal reflections on his life. In a "hope I die before I get old" fashion, Cox sings, "I don't want to get old", but as the song progresses, that line changes to "I want to get old" as the narrator considers the reality of the alternative.

My personal favorite track on the album is "Conronado", an ambitious, powerful song that shows the grittier side of Deerhunter. Cox sings in a very different vocal style than we're used to, characterized by a deep and gravelly sound that I'd love to hear more of. This song is also one of two tracks on the album that introduces the utilization of a saxophone, the other being "Fountain Stairs".

Everything about Halcyon Digest is perfectly suited for vinyl, it is the kind of album you want to feel all around you. Headphones do NOT do it justice. The wax sounds absolutely terrific, accentuating the acoustics and rhythms nicely. It is pressed on lighter weight vinyl, but this does not hold it back in the slightest. It is pressed on white only.

The packaging is nice, but nothing extraordinary. Lyrics and credits are presented on the inner sleeve, including the tragic real-life story of the key figure of the track "Helicopter".

For vinyl enthusiasts, this one is not to be missed. Purchase Halcyon Digest on vinyl here (Amazon): Halcyon Digest


  1. nice vinyl!! looks like this is an older one!

  2. @C Mo Gunz: Nah, it was released last year. It's just the style of the artwork that makes it look older.

  3. Good to see there are still people who are into vinyls.

  4. A blog for vinyl only!? I think I'm in love. Great review.

  5. Love the artwork. You can't compare the tiny amount of canvas on a CD - or nonexistent one on a download - to the expanse of space on an LP.

  6. great blog. beautiful looking vinyl.

  7. Nice looking record and I bet it sounds just as good. Will check it out after uni if I can find it on the internet

  8. it's kinda sad that everything is all digital and i miss that "i saved up to buy that album" feeling :(

  9. my dad owns a few vinyl records, i'm surprised at how much they've fallen in price over the years

  10. Great blog man! Keep up the great work!