Deerhunter is the musical equivalent of responsible drinking. They know when itâ€™s acceptable to indulge and, more importantly, when itâ€™s not.
This quality has carried over from 2008s â€œMicrocastle,â€ but this time around, there is more breadth to Deerhunterâ€™s sound. The songs on â€œHalcyon Digestâ€ are all wrapped up in delayed, pitch bent and reverb laden instrumentals.
Notable are the new sounds incorporated throughout â€œHalcyon Digest.â€ Itâ€™s impressive how theyâ€™ve managed to keep their subdued yet distinct sound while introducing fresh ideas.
The album opener, â€œEarthquake,â€ starts off with a reverse looped drumbeat while pitch-bent acoustic guitar, various string instruments and even saxophone can be found on the album.
All of this variety creates a deeply textured listen, but the songs are so similar in composition and style that â€œHalcyon Digestâ€ works exceedingly well as an album to listen to in its entirety.
Almost every track on â€œHalcyon Digestâ€ can be described as enjoyable, and each song is, at the very least, listenable. But a couple stand out.
The first single and album-highlight, â€œHelicopter,â€ plays off one of Deerhunterâ€™s catchiest guitar lines on top of delayed drum loop.
The effect is beautiful and enveloping. Singer Bradford Coxâ€™s vocals are placed right in the center as he coos about God, the devil and death.
â€œDesire Linesâ€ is another standout with a bright guitar line that matches the optimistic lyrics well. The songâ€™s end is similar to that of the â€œMicrocastleâ€ standout â€œNothing Ever Happened,â€ with a lengthy instrumental build that works because of perfectly timed variations.
â€œHalcyon Digestâ€ proves that even in an age of shrinking attention spans and single-obsessed listeners, thereâ€™s still a place for the musical-album-as-experience.
Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.