With every album, Deerhunter strip away more layers of textural ambience and reveal what some fans knew all along: that they're a pop band. That's not to say Halcyon Digest is "easy"; it still takes a few listens to fully comprehend. But when not hiding behind melody-obscuring noise, Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt are exposed to be as skilled at songwriting as sonic experimentation.
It takes some patience to appreciate the languid, hypnotic dream-pop of Earthquake, Sailing and He Would Have Laughed (dedicated to the late Jay Reatard), but there's also immediate pleasure in the straightforward fuzzy psych rock of Revival and Don't Cry.
Despite being one of the album's longer tracks, the Pundt-written Desire Lines is the hardest hitting. Recalling the structure of Microcastle standout Nothing Ever Happened, it follows an infectious hook with a majestically building instrumental coda that earns the song every second of its nearly seven-minute run time.
Top track: Desire Lines
Deerhunter play the Opera House October 19.