Back in 2008, I felt like the only person in the world who thought that Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. by Deerhunter was vastly overrated. Everyone liked it; my friends, blogs, and music review sites. Everyone, it seemed, except me. I felt like an outcast, meandering through a chasm of consternation and reclusiveness, awash in embarrassment. What was wrong with me? This is something I should be liking, isn't it? Needless to say, when a release date of September 28th (yesterday) was announced for their new album Halcyon Digest, I was worried I'd follow in a similar pattern. Yet, I knew I'd have to give it a shot. Deerhunter has become one of the most recognizable and acclaimed names in indie music, and regardless of whether I liked it or not, the fact of the matter is that it would be a significant release.
For me, Halcyon Digest is a fantastic example of why everything should be approached with an open mind. There will be no disagreement coming from me this time, I love it. What I find interesting, though, is that Halcyon Digest still sounds distinctly Deerhunterish. So therefore, how is it possible that a similar sound of something that I don't like could transcend itself into a new album that I find very enjoyable? It's happened before, too. Earlier this year, I almost passed up on listening to the new Beach House album Teen Dream because of my dislike of their previous album Devotion, only to have Teen Dream become of my favorite albums I've ever listened to. This happened despite the fact that Teen Dream kept an incisive Beach House tone.
That's one of the things that intrigues me about music. Sometimes I find that the smallest things can make the largest difference. So while Halcyon Digest still sounds like a Deerhunter album, Bradford Cox and company toned down the garage-rock aspect of songs like "Nothing Ever Happened" and went for the dreamier rifts. I find that this new album sounds much more like Cox's solo project Atlas Sound, which I liked much better than Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. After a few listens to Halcyon Digest, the song that really stood out to me was "Desire Lines". It's a very spacey song with some brilliantly layered guitar rhythms and a 3-minute rock out towards the end. I also loved the song "Coronado", which has a great piano and horn section. It sounds so loose and so energetic, using that underlying psychedelic saxophone in a way that The Doors used it in "Touch Me". Below I've posted those two songs, "Desire Lines" and "Coronado", with more songs here for download. The album is still fresh, only one day old! Hope you guys like it.