Halcyon Digest is the fifth studio album by American indie rock band Deerhunter. It was released September 27, 2010[5] to universal critical acclaim. It was the band's first album distributed solely by 4AD worldwide (previously 4AD only handled overseas distribution while Kranky handled it within the U.S.) The album was produced by the band and Ben H. Allen, and was recorded at Chase Park Transduction studios in Athens, Georgia with engineer David Barbe.[6] The final track, "He Would Have Laughed" was recorded separately by Bradford Cox at Notown Sound in Marietta, Georgia and is a tribute to Jay Reatard.[7]

Halcyon Digest
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2010
RecordedJune 2010
Deerhunter chronology
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
Halcyon Digest
Singles from Halcyon Digest
  1. "Revival"
    Released: July 21, 2010
  2. "Memory Boy"
    Released: April 16, 2011

It is the band's last album to feature bass guitarist Josh Fauver.

Concept edit

Writing on his Facebook profile page, Cox stated "The album's title is a reference to a collection of fond memories and even invented ones, like my friendship with Ricky Wilson or the fact that I live in an abandoned victorian autoharp factory. The way that we write and rewrite and edit our memories to be a digest version of what we want to remember, and how that's kind of sad."[8]

Answering the Q magazine question as to whether the album was "...supposed to sound like a newsletter or bulletin board from somewhere mysterious", Bradford Cox said: "It's supposed to be like a collection of short dispatches". He called the use of the word 'Halcyon' misleading, adding: "It has a lot to do with the way people romanticize the past, even if it was horrific."[9]

The album artwork was provided by renowned Atlanta photographer George Mitchell. Deerhunter drummer, Moses Archuleta, initially suggested a "stark black and white theme" with Cox ultimately selecting Mitchell's photograph because "it had an immediate connection to the music, especially songs like 'Basement Scene'."[10]

The picture portrays Dennis Dinion, a contestant in The Miss Star Lite Pageant at the Star Lite Lounge on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. It was shot by Mitchell on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1982, the last night the Star Lite was open. Dennis Dinion worked as a substitute teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools.[11] Bradford Cox described the artwork during an Instagram live on October 31, 2018, saying that a book fell off the shelf and opened to this page and he felt it was fate. It was a photo book of the Ponce de Leon area in Atlanta. Cox spent time in his childhood near the Star Lite Lounge; he was just a few months old the night of the Miss Star Lite Pageant.[12]

Promotion edit

To help promote the release of the LP, the group launched a new website[13] where they urged fans to download a promotional flyer[14] (created by Cox by photocopying images together) and email pictures of it "hanging in your town, neighborhood, bedrooms, etc." To reward those who had emailed photos, the band revealed the track listing and album artwork via email.[5] The first single, "Revival," along with some unused demos and b-side "Primitive 3D" were also made available to fans who had posted flyers.[15] "Helicopter" was later released as a single with a video available on September 8.[16]

About the flyer concept, Cox stated he was inspired by the record promotion he witnessed in the 80s. He recalls:[17]

...always being fascinated with the ephemera of 70's – 80's artrock in record stores like Wuxtry in Athens where I hung out as a kid or Wax 'N Facts in Atlanta. You'd see a photocopied faded B-52's flyer next to a poster for Lou Reed or XTC. It was like an artpunk scrapbook on those walls. It made my head spin. Who are these people? Who are the fucking Residents with these weird-ass eyeball faces?

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]
The A.V. ClubA−[20]
The Guardian     [21]
Mojo     [22]
MSN Music (Expert Witness)A−[23]
Q     [26]
Rolling Stone     [27]

Halcyon Digest received widespread acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, based on 33 reviews, indicating "Universal Acclaim".[19] It ranked second in Exclaim!'s Pop & Rock Albums of the Year where Cam Lindsay credits Deerhunter with continuing their "impressive streak as one of the more consistent sonic explorer's [sic] within the indie rock canon."[29] The album also appeared at #3 on Pitchfork's 50 Greatest Albums of 2010, where Rob Mitchum writes that the work's rough-yet-shimmery production and existential theme "demonstrates that the ache of mortality can be even more wounding in the bright glare of daytime than late at night."[30]

The album was also included in the 2010 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[31]

The album was ranked the 3rd best album from 2010-2014, and 29th best in the 2010s in lists published by Pitchfork.[32][33]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Bradford Cox, except where noted

1."Earthquake" 5:00
2."Don't Cry" 2:49
3."Revival" 2:13
4."Sailing" 4:59
5."Memory Boy" 2:09
6."Desire Lines"Lockett Pundt6:44
7."Basement Scene" 3:41
8."Helicopter" 4:58
9."Fountain Stairs"Pundt2:38
10."Coronado" 3:19
11."He Would Have Laughed" 7:29
Total length:45:50
Japanese bonus tracks
Total length:53:56

Personnel edit

Credits adapted from Allmusic and album liner notes.[34]

Chart positions edit

Chart (2010) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[35] 73
Belgian Heatseekers Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[35] 19
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[36] 93
Belgian Heatseekers Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[36] 9
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[37] 99
Dutch Alternative Albums (Mega Alternative Top 30)[38] 5
French Albums (SNEP)[39] 156
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[40] 84
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[41] 23
UK Albums (OCC)[42] 79
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[43] 8
US Billboard 200[44] 37
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[45] 7
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[46] 13

As of 2011 it has sold 59,879 copies in United States according to Nielsen SoundScan.[47]

References edit

  1. ^ Thill, Scott (September 30, 2010). "Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest Conjures Idyllic Psych-Pop". Wired. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". The Week. October 8, 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (October 13, 2015). "Deerhunter – Fading Frontier". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Deerhunter Reveal New Album Halcyon Digest Tracklist and Cover Art". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  6. ^ "News of Deerhunter's studio activites [sic] get Tweeted". Creative Lofting. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  7. ^ "New album on the way from Deerhunter". Hot Press. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  8. ^ "Deerhunter debuts new, mature sound on 'Halcyon Digest'". The Villanovan. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  9. ^ Victoria Segal. Q magazine, November 2010. Q & A. Halcyon Digest album review. p. 113.
  10. ^ "IN THE HEADLIGHTS Deerhunter" Archived 2012-06-01 at the Wayback Machine, Blurt Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  11. ^ Deerhunter CD cover
  12. ^ "Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius".
  13. ^ halcyondigest.com
  14. ^ "promotional flyer". Archived from the original on 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  15. ^ "Hear Deerhunter's New Single". Pitchfork. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  16. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (2010-09-10). "Deerhunter: "Helicopter" | Tracks". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  17. ^ Wednesday, 14 July 2010, 10:54 am Press Release: The Label (2010-07-14). "Deerhunter announce fourth album | Scoop News". Scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-09-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Reviews for Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter". Metacritic. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  20. ^ Hyden, Steven (September 28, 2010). "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  21. ^ Hann, Michael (September 23, 2010). "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  22. ^ "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". Mojo (203): 90. October 2010.
  23. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 14, 2011). "Deerhunter/Best Coast". MSN Music. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  24. ^ Denney, Alex (September 24, 2010). "Album Review: Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest". NME. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  25. ^ Hogan, Marc (September 27, 2010). "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  26. ^ "Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest". Q (292): 113. November 2010.
  27. ^ Rosen, Jody (September 28, 2010). "Halcyon Digest". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  28. ^ Beta, Andy (September 9, 2010). "Deerhunter, 'Halcyon Digest' (4AD)". Spin. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  29. ^ "Pop & Rock Year in Review". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  30. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2010". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  31. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (2014). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  32. ^ "The Top 100 Albums of 2010-2014". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  33. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  35. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  38. ^ "Alternative Top 30" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  39. ^ "Lescharts.com – Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  40. ^ ハルシオン・ダイジェスト (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  41. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  42. ^ "Chart Log UK 1994-2010: Asher D – Dyverse". zobbel.de. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  43. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  44. ^ "Deerhunter Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  45. ^ "Deerhunter Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  46. ^ "Deerhunter Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  47. ^ "Data". marathonpacks.tumblr.com. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2022.

External links edit