Halcyon Digest

Unlike many of today’s neo-psychedelic garage-dwellers, Bradford Cox didn’t set out to inhabit that world. Yet with his band Deerhunter’s latest, Halcyon Digest, he’s managed to write some of the best garage-pop songs of the past five years. The consummate music geek, Cox is quite vocal through his blog about which artists are inspiring him at any given moment. If you read that he’s digging The Supremes, there’s a good chance their influence is going to creep into one of his songs. While Halcyon Digest occasionally sounds like it’s from another time, this record just sounds timeless—British Invasion pop (“Don’t Cry”; “Memory Boy”) is met with the whooshes and bleeps of “Helicopter” and album opener “Earthquake!” I can’t think of another band, aside from Radiohead, that blends inanimate technology with flesh-and-blood rock ’n’ roll so seamlessly. And “Revival” might be the most jubilant, perfect rock song of the year. But Cox shouldn’t get all of the credit. Guitarist Lockett Pundt’s “Desire Lines”—the album’s centerpiece—clocks in at almost seven minutes, with an extended coda so lush and soothing you kind of hope it never ends. Much like the album.