Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Year in Music - 2nd Favorite Album of the Year
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
I've gone back and forth between #s 2 and 3. #1 has been set for a while, but this album and the one that came before it are pretty much based on my whim at any given time. But whereas the Morning Benders released an album that hit me instantly AND grew on me, this one I've loved pretty much start to finish from day one.
Like many of the albums on my list, I think this one is really well paced. It starts out ambient with 'Earthquake' before dipping to the lo-fi 'Don't Cry', followed up by the brilliant 'Revival'. You get a chance to catch your breath on 'Sailing' before it picks up the pace again with 'Memory Boy' flowing into the second real standout 'Desire Lines'. It's down and up from there, as the first single, 'Helicopter', and 'Coronado' highlight the second half of the album.
The last 16 months or so have really been a breakout period for Bradford Cox. Building on the critical success of Deerhunter's 2008 release Microcastle, he released the second album of his solo project, Atlas Sound, to even more critical acclaim. It was Pitchfork's 18th best album, and landed two tracks in their top 100. And they continue their trend towards accessibility. Microcastle was more instantly accessible than their 2007 release Cryptograms, and Halcyon Digest take that even further, with a handful of tracks that should delight on first listen.
And while Cox continues to pad his resumé as a master songwrite, Lockett Pundt proves himself no slouch with the epic 'Desire Lines' and psych-rock 'Fountain Stairs'. This really should serve as their breakthrough album.