The inspirations and instrumentation that must come together to create the left-of-center indie rock of Deerhunter seem to make odd bedfellows. The stuff of which might produce a colossal mess of noise in less capable hands becomes a harmonic environment of dreamy ambience that is somehow mysteriously cohesive with folk-rock and pop rock rhythms.
Formed in 2001, Deerhunter have weathered the band member turnover and traumas typically characteristic of a band 3 times their established age. But perhaps this has allowed the band to evolve from the somewhat unfocused post-punk, shoegaze, noise rock of earlier albums and harness their version of alternative rock ethereality. The true voice of this band started to become clear with the 2008 dual release of Microcastle/ Weird Era Cont. and one could argue it became fully realized with the 2010 release Halcyon Digest.
Influences ranging from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to Roxy Music to Motown find common ground on Halcyon Digest. The album is equal parts indie rock and dreamy ambient landscape. Bradford Cox’s once stream-of consciousness lyrics become narrowed and intimate, the music of bandmates Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver and Lockett Pundt is economic yet still visual. The end result is an album that is simply beautiful from start to finish as well as newly intriguing, track by track. If you venture into the unknown with one album of 2010, this should be it.
If you like: Radiohead, Department of Eagles, Stereolab, The Breeders, Brian Eno, Echo & the Bunnymen, School of Seven Bells
Check out: Deerhunter (start with Halcyon Digest, continue with Microcastle/ Weird Era Cont. and graduate to the EPs)
Feeling brave: The Helio Sequence, Animal Collective, Real Estate, Pantha du Prince, Atlas Sound
AI level: Advanced