Halcyon Digest (4AD)



Halcyon Digest (4AD)

"You can't take too long making up songs," reasons Bradford Cox at a near-whisper halfway through the frail "Sailing" on Halcyon Digest. That's an apt summation of the Deerhunter and Atlas Sound frontman's aesthetic. He's a bedroom pop provocateur, crafting meticulous neo-gaze confessionals with various levels of awkwardness and anxiety, masked accordingly in reverb and distortion. Like 2007's dualistic Cryptograms and the sprawling 2008 double album Microcastle/Weird Era Cont., there are two sides at work for his Atlanta quartet's fourth full-length and 4AD debut. Most of the album could pass as solo recordings, like the slow-motion slumber of "Earthquake!" and the girl group gauze of "Basement Scene," but that's balanced with more concise, full band selections that sound like half-remembered 1960s pop songs ("Don't Cry," "Revival," "Memory Boy"). The two exceptions are Jay Reatard remembrance "He Would Have Laughed" and "Helicopter," a dreamlike concoction of warbled beats, glistening acoustic guitars, and rare elegance. Both rank among Cox's finest. (Sunday, 6:50pm, Orange stage)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Deerhunter
Record Reviews
Monomania (Record Review)

Austin Powell, April 26, 2013

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Austin Powell
SXSW Music Spotlight: Ural Thomas & the Pain
SXSW Music Spotlight: Ural Thomas & the Pain
Portland soul singer gets his second act

March 11, 2022

Spoon’s Britt Daniel confronts <I>Lucifer on the Sofa</I>
Spoon’s Britt Daniel confronts Lucifer on the Sofa
Q&A on his return to Austin and making a real rock record

Feb. 11, 2022



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle