Deerhunter unfolded undertones of retrograde symmetry in a basement scene where sweetness comes suffering. After four albums (Turn It Up Faggot in 2005, Cryptograms in 2007, Microcastle and Weird Era Cont. in 2008) and two EP's (Fluorescent Grey in 2007 and Rainwater Cassette Exchange in 2009) the Atlanta, Georgia ambient punk group had taken a hiatus while members of the band pursued other projects (Bradford Cox recorded Logos with Atlas Sound, Josh Fauver went back to work at his Army of Bad Luck record label, Moses Archuleta started culinary school, and Lockett Pundt put out The Floodlight Collective as Lotus Plaza). They got back together in January of 2010 to tour.
'Halcyon Digest' was recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Georgia and Notown Sound in Marietta, Georgia with Ben H. Allen and Henry Barbe co-producing the sessions with Deerhunter. Th album credits Moses Archuleta on drums; Bradford J. Cox on lead vocals and guitar; Joshua Fauver on bass; and Lockett Pundt on guitar and lead vocals; with Bill Oglesby on saxophone; and Paul McPherson on 12 string guitar.
Cox confesses: “We recorded Halcyon Digest in two weeks. For most bands that would be impossible, but for us those two weeks felt like two years! I don’t understand why things need to take so long...I’m a simple person. I sit at home and play guitar, making demos. I do our graphic design and typography for our releases. I devote my life to all of these little details, so there’s not really any room for me to develop a social life. I don’t have a private life to speak of, really. Everything is out there in the music ... The album’s title is a reference to a collection of fond memories and even invented ones, like my friendship with Ricky Wilson or the fact that I live in an abandoned Victorian autoharp factory. The way that we write and rewrite and edit our memories to be a digest version of what we want to remember, and how that’s kind of sad...It has a lot to do with the way people romanticize the past, even if it was horrific.”
To promote the album, the band encouraged fans to print out a flyer from their website and post it around their towns and take pictures. Cox admits to "...always being fascinated with the ephemera of 70's – 80's artrock in record stores like Wuxtry in Athens where I hung out as a kid or Wax 'N Facts in Atlanta. You'd see a photocopied faded B-52's flyer next to a poster for Lou Reed or XTC. It was like an artpunk scrapbook on those walls. It made my head spin. Who are these people? Who are the fucking Residents with these weird-ass eyeball faces?"
'Halcyon Digest' went to number eighty-four in Japan, seventy-nine in the UK, thirty-seven in the US, twenty-three in Norway, thirteen on the US rock album chart, nine on the Belgian heatseeker album chart, eight on the UK independent album chart, seven on the US independent album chart, and number five on the Dutch alternative album chart.
All songs written and composed by Bradford Cox except Desire Lines and Fountain Stairs by Lockett Pundt.
1. "Earthquake" 5:00
2. "Don't Cry" 2:49
3. "Revival" 2:13
4. "Sailing" 4:59
5. "Memory Boy" 2:09
6. "Desire Lines" 6:44
7. "Basement Scene" 3:41
8. "Helicopter" 4:58
9. "Fountain Stairs" 2:38
10. "Coronado" 3:19
11. "He Would Have Laughed" 7:29
12. "Rhythm" 2:56
13. "Colorscale" 5:10
live at The Interface
- Desire lines
- Fountain stairs
- Helicopter/He would have laughed
- Memory boy