| September 28, 2010|
| June 2010|
28 September 2010
| Chase Park Transduction, Athens, Georgia
Notown Sound, Marietta, Georgia|
Ben H. Allen
Indie rock, Shoegazing, Garage rock, Dream pop, Indie pop, Psychedelic pop, Noise pop
Deerhunter albums, Dream pop albums
Halcyon Digest is the fifth studio album by American indie rock band Deerhunter. It was released September 28, 2010 to universal critical acclaim. It was the band's first album distributed exclusively by 4AD worldwide (previously 4AD only handled overseas distribution while Kranky handled it within the U.S) The album was produced by both the band and Ben H. Allen, and was recorded at Chase Park Transduction studios in Athens, Georgia. The final track, "He Would Have Laughed" was recorded separately by Bradford Cox at Notown Sound in Marietta, Georgia and is a tribute to the late Jay Reatard.
It is the band's last album to feature bass guitarist Joshua Fauver.
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."
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."
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'."
To help promote the release of the LP, the group launched a new website where they urged fans to download a promotional flyer (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. The first single, "Revival," along with some unused demos and b-side "Primitive 3D" were also made available to fans who had posted flyers. "Helicopter" was later released as a single with a video available on September 8.
About the flyer concept, Cox stated he was inspired by the record promotion he witnessed in the 80s. He recalls:
Halcyon Digest received highly positive reviews from music critics. 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". 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." The album also appeared at #3 on Pitchfork Media'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."
The album was also included in the 2010 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The album was ranked the 3rd greatest album from 2010-2014 in a list published by Pitchfork Media.
All tracks written by Bradford Cox, except where noted.
Credits adapted from Allmusic and album liner notes.
1Earthquake5:00Halcyon Digest Wikipedia