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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2010 | 4AD

Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Inspired by the flyer culture of punk and college rock bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Deerhunter introduced Halcyon Digest with an “interactive Xerox art project” in which fans photocopied an old-school flyer made by Bradford Cox, pasted it around their towns, photographed it and sent the results back to the band. Besides being a clever viral strategy to drum up interest for the album, it speaks to the way Deerhunter approaches how fleeting and important memories can be on these songs. Given how prolific Cox and crew have been together -- and separately, with his Atlas Sound project and Lockett Pundt's Lotus Plaza -- since 2007’s Cryptograms, it’s not surprising that they took this opportunity to look back. Halcyon Digest reveals a quieter, sometimes gentler Deerhunter than expected, and while Cox doesn’t exactly sound tired, there’s an occasional rasp in his voice that wasn’t there before. Instead of emphasizing sonics that spiral out into the stratosphere as they did on Microcastle or Rainwater Cassette Exchange, the band emphasizes the dream part of their dream-pop roots. Halcyon Digest gets off to a sleepy start with “Earthquake,” where sluggish beats, looping guitars and reminiscences of “waking up on a dirty couch” feel like being awoken from a dream, or maybe going deeper into one; “Sailing” is a reverie on a pier, so whispered and intimate that it sounds like it belongs on a Cox solo album. Despite its delicacy, Halcyon Digest is some of Deerhunter's most down-to-earth music, and offers some of the band’s most thoughtful songwriting. Cox is more interested in playing with layers of nostalgia than layers of sound, expressing his yearning by channeling the music of youth and rebellion of decades past. “Don’t Cry” and “Basement Scene” evoke the eternally teenage sound of the Everly Brothers, filtered through a fever dream; the excellent “Memory Boy” cherishes “the smell of loose-leaf joints on jeans” with sparkling Anglophilic ‘60s pop. This may also be Deerhunter’s most emotionally varied album, spanning the jubilant sax on the oddly Strokes-like “Coronado” to “Helicopter”'s heartbreaking chamber-pop, which embodies lonely side of memories. The band saves just enough room for two quintessentially Deerhunter tracks: Pundt's gorgeous “Desire Lines” is a standout, taking flight halfway through into a glorious guitar excursion, while the transporting final track “He Would Have Laughed” is all the more poignant for its dedication to Jay Reatard. It’s not as immediate as previous Deerhunter albums, but Halcyon Digest has an appeal all its own: It’s as difficult to grasp -- and as hard to shake -- as a memory lingering at the back of your brain. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2013 | 4AD

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5/6 de Magic - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Monomania's release, Deerhunter described the album's music as "nocturnal garage" -- an accurate, if somewhat elliptical, nutshell explanation of what Bradford Cox and crew (who include new bassist Josh McKay and additional guitarist Frankie Broyles) are up to on this set of songs. After Halcyon Digest's nostalgic haze and the fragile beauty of Atlas Sound's Parallax, it seemed that Cox was drifting further away from the rawness of his early days. He breaks away from this insular turn on Monomania -- to a point. The album's first two songs, the unabashedly messy "Neon Junkyard" and riff-fest "Leather Jacket II," are the musical equivalent of blowing off steam after the more considered, delicate territory of Cox's recent past. It's not until "The Missing"'s chiming guitars and harmonies that Monomania offers something resembling Deerhunter's more recent output, and that song was written by longtime guitarist Lockett Pundt. Cox sometimes goes overboard with his fondness for abrasiveness, as on "Nitebike"'s over the top vocal posturing or the way the odd coughing/barking backing vocals shatter "THM"'s pretty reverie. More often, though, Monomania's willfully raw sounds adopt the tough persona and iconography of rock music with a capital R as shelter, like donning a leather jacket and a sneer as armor against life's hardships. Cox borrows Julian Casablancas' croak on "Pensacola" and Queen's lyrics on "Dream Captain," where "I'm just a poor boy from a poor family" is just one of the scruffy rock clichés that he celebrates. Deerhunter's more familiar introspection creeps into Monomania's "nocturnal" songs, where the band uses its dreaminess to channel the feelings the album's louder moments try to drown out. They do so especially well on the equally melodic and acerbic "Blue Agent" and the gorgeous "Sleepwalking," both of which examine the chasms between former friends and lovers with very different perspectives. The album may be most interesting when the band plays with its tough/vulnerable duality: the title track is a plea that sounds like it's on fire, while "Punk (La Vie Antérieure)" looks back on fearless days with tender acoustic guitars. At times, the album feels more meta than Deerhunter's previous music, a complex way of delivering songs that are often much simpler -- on the surface, anyway -- than usual. By turns raw and reflective, Monomania is about shaking things up; it's not as grand or cohesive as Microcastle or Halcyon Digest, but with repeated listens, its quick shifts in sound and mood feel more like different sides of the same coin than a split personality. Ultimately, it may be most remarkable for how easily Deerhunter can deliver catchy songs in any incarnation. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his band of merry men sign off their seventh album, which offers some radical, altogether new perspectives for Deerhunter. The group, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, originally drew us towards their sonic chloroform through an amazing melodic mastery. Their shoegaze guitars fascinated, hailing, above all, from the great Irish group My Bloody Valentine. This dreamlike, hypnotic brand of rock is still, more or less, on the Fading Frontier programme. But Cox diverges by giving in to a more purified pop sensibility this time around. Deerhunter have not sold their soul to the devil; in fact, the fundamentals of the group are so strong, that these melodic addendums could never alter the core DNA of the music. In this respect, the insane and very groovy single ‘Snakeskin’ shows off this perfect balance. In short, we might ask, has the serious car accident (and narrow escape from death) of the Deerhunter frontman mellowed this charismatic, formerly vitriolic leader? Impossible to say… Anyway, Fading Frontier confirms that Deerhunter remain one of the most interesting American indie-rock groups of the past decade. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | 4AD

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his band of merry men sign off their seventh album, which offers some radical, altogether new perspectives for Deerhunter. The group, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, originally drew us towards their sonic chloroform through an amazing melodic mastery. Their shoegaze guitars fascinated, hailing, above all, from the great Irish group My Bloody Valentine. This dreamlike, hypnotic brand of rock is still, more or less, on the Fading Frontier programme. But Cox diverges by giving in to a more purified pop sensibility this time around. Deerhunter have not sold their soul to the devil; in fact, the fundamentals of the group are so strong, that these melodic addendums could never alter the core DNA of the music. In this respect, the insane and very groovy single ‘Snakeskin’ shows off this perfect balance. In short, we might ask, has the serious car accident (and narrow escape from death) of the Deerhunter frontman mellowed this charismatic, formerly vitriolic leader? Impossible to say… Anyway, Fading Frontier confirms that Deerhunter remain one of the most interesting American indie-rock groups of the past decade.
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | 4AD

Hi-Res
In 2015, two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his men signed off on Fading Frontier, a surprising seventh album that offered up new perspectives for Deerhunter. The Atlanta gang used to play muffled sonic pop with an impressive melodic mastery. A fascinating type of music inherited from My Bloody Valentine’s sound wall. This dreamlike rock was still more or less on the agenda with Fading Frontier but Cox leaned towards more purity, more melodies, and more pop, like on the frenetic and groovy single Snakeskin... Four years later, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? proves that Deerhunter have not yet completed their metamorphosis. The richness of this eighth album, which is even further removed from the shoegaze spirit of their early days, shows that Bradford Cox's brain is still in turmoil. From the harpsichord of Death in Midsummer, reminiscent of The Kinks (as well as No One's Sleeping, which is also in the spirit of Ray Davies) to the futuristic/synthetic sound of Greenpoint Gothic (it's like David Bowie's Berlin period led by Brian Eno) and the exhilarating and catchy power pop of Futurism, the album dares to do just about everything. But that’s not to say that there’s no common thread. Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, Josh McKay, Javier Morales and, as a guest on three tracks, Cate Le Bon always find a plan, a melody, a punchline, an atmosphere or an unexpected digression to impress their audience. Amazing and captivating. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | 4AD

In 2015, two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his men signed off on Fading Frontier, a surprising seventh album that offered up new perspectives for Deerhunter. The Atlanta gang used to play muffled sonic pop with an impressive melodic mastery. A fascinating type of music inherited from My Bloody Valentine’s sound wall. This dreamlike rock was still more or less on the agenda with Fading Frontier but Cox leaned towards more purity, more melodies, and more pop, like on the frenetic and groovy single Snakeskin... Four years later, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? proves that Deerhunter have not yet completed their metamorphosis. The richness of this eighth album, which is even further removed from the shoegaze spirit of their early days, shows that Bradford Cox's brain is still in turmoil. From the harpsichord of Death in Midsummer, reminiscent of The Kinks (as well as No One's Sleeping, which is also in the spirit of Ray Davies) to the futuristic/synthetic sound of Greenpoint Gothic (it's like David Bowie's Berlin period led by Brian Eno) and the exhilarating and catchy power pop of Futurism, the album dares to do just about everything. But that’s not to say that there’s no common thread. Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, Josh McKay, Javier Morales and, as a guest on three tracks, Cate Le Bon always find a plan, a melody, a punchline, an atmosphere or an unexpected digression to impress their audience. Amazing and captivating. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 11, 2011 | 4AD

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Deerhunter in the magazine
  • In Transition
    In Transition In 2015, two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his men signed off on Fading Frontier, a surprising seventh album that offered up new perspectives for Deerhunter.
  • Deerhunter: the albums
    Deerhunter: the albums Bradford Cox and his band try relaxing a little...