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Deerhunter and the Halcyon Days of Autumn

Do you need to listen to a great, new album? Yes, you do.

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by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: September, 2010
...and yet absorbs every last golden drop of summer left in the air and radiates it back like an iguana's heat rock?

Halcyon Digest

Do you need to listen to a great, new album? One that reflects the autumnal that creeps through our bodies and stiffens our husks, even deadens us a little and yet absorbs every last golden drop of summer left in the air and radiates it back like an iguana's heat rock? One that is record nerd friendly - it sounds like Velvet Underground, it sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain, it sounds like Pink Floyd, it sounds like Love and Rockets, it sounds like x and y and z and whatever touchstone cassettes were lodged in deck of the first car you were allowed to drive, in the first Walkman you carried with you on the train or the bus, in the first humming you did to harmonize with your inner hormonal buzz? One that has that Animal Collective lotus-eater vibe to it but is made up of actual songs?

Do you need an album that seems to languish in the hammock of hiss one moment ("Earthquake") and then gets up to dance in a funny, lurchy way that makes all the cute girls get up and dance too ("Revival") and then collapses into narcotic bliss ("Sailing") just as you and the girls collapse in the aforementioned hammocks a little sweaty and wound up from the dancing? One that will make a dinner party sexy and languid ("Sailing" again) and perk things up in a Kinks kinda way ("Memory Boy")  and even get a little dangerous just as someone breaks out the drugs, and it rolls on and on like this in the perfect ebb and tide of people being in a room together as music plays ("Basement Scene")? 

Do you need a record that makes even sitting in a cubicle, doctoring Excel spreadsheets ("Fountain Stairs") seem like purposed activity, means to an end of living the good life where, after five. you have hammocks and dinner parties that turn into dance parties and cute girls and drugs at your house? One that ends as perfectly evoking Joy Division's "Atmosphere" - as good a last song as anyone has ever done - while also evoking Vampire Weekend and thereby not alienating those cute girls still hanging around ("He Would Have Laughed") ? Do you need these things in an album? You do? Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter is that record.

Photo of Deerhunter's Brandon Cox lifted from their MySpace page.

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Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com

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