Album Review: Deerhunter Halycon Digest

By Scott Kara

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Deerhunter. Photo / Supplied
Deerhunter. Photo / Supplied

Rating: 4/5
Verdict: A golden book of musical intrigue

Deerhunter, who play Auckland's Laneway festival next year, are one of those bands whose songs always sound as if they are about to disintegrate and fall apart. But they never do.

It's a rare quality, and it's thrilling and intriguing stuff to listen to, especially when it's delivered in the beautifully dead-beat, and almost dreamy way this Atlanta quartet do.

Halcyon Digest, the band's fourth album, is also one of those albums where new things reveal themselves after every listen, which means it takes many a listen to fully fathom. Because at times it's jangly, akin to New Zealand's The Clean (whose music is a big influence on the band). Then there's opener Earthquake, awash with shimmers, echoes and endless layers of glitches, strums, and ambience; the lovely, ragged, and fuzzy guitar pop of Don't Cry; and Revival will have you waltzing recklessly around the room in the arms of your loved one.

But Deerhunter are at their very best when the songs take off into another form like on Desire Lines, which escalates into a long steely jangle, or with the surprising squall of a saxophone on the bedraggled and sloppy pop rock of Coronado.

While there's also a forlornness to Deerhunter - like on the brittle, understated darkness of Basement Scene - that might make you feel a little glum, take a ride with this fascinating record. It will take you to many weird, wonderful, and often familiar places.


- NZ Herald

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