Scratched Into Our Souls

Deerhunter – “Calvary Scars” | July 9, 2010

Today, Bradford Cox, the tall and awkward noise-pop mastermind behind Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, revealed that main project Deerhunter will be releasing their fourth album entitled Halcyon Digest on September 28 of this year. For anybody who doesn’t know, this is spectacular news. If you head over to their newly revamped website, you are encouraged to download the above promotional poster and hang it on your favorite…uh…place where you hang promotional posters. Then, if you send of picture of the poster hanging up and email it to, you’ll receive a free digital download of the first single from Halcyon Digest in the coming weeks.

Given the breadth of work that Bradford Cox has put out as Deerhunter and as solo-project Atlas Sound, this new single will could range from beautiful to noisy. Perhaps one of my favorite explanations of understanding the creative mind of Cox is looking at the two very different versions of “Calvary Scars” that can be found on Deerhunter’s 2008 double album Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. One version lasts merely a minute and thirty seconds, focusing on a gorgeously slow melody and a feeling of total weightlessness, making the humiliation of a lyric like “crucified in front of all my closest friends” all the more gut-wrenchingly painful. The second version lasts over ten minutes in length and is an exercise in building tension and creating atmosphere through noise, feeling disorienting at the same time as its forward motion gains momentum. You get that feeling that you’re going somewhere, and you know what direction you’re headed in, but you can’t do anything to stop it – nor would you want to.

That’s exactly what I admire about Deerhunter and Bradford Cox. They can make a 97 second song feel like you’re floating in space for eternity, and yet they can turn the same song into a ten minute ride on a train barreling down the tracks towards eventual destruction, and make it feel like an instant.

Listen: Deerhunter – “Calvary Scars”

Listen: Deerhunter – “Calvary Scars II/Aux. Out”


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    About Me: Chris Robinson

    A budding writer and avid music fan from Los Angeles, California, I am a recent graduate of Music History from UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music. I've written for the UCLA Daily Bruin, graduated valedictorian from high school, and enjoy many different types of music, from The Beatles to Beethoven, and everything in between. I wrote my senior thesis on lyrical misinterpretations in popular music, focusing on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

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    All music posted on this blog is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Go out and buy their music, attend their shows, and buy merchandise.

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