Since the press trail for Deerhunter’s fourth album Halcyon Digest began we’ve seen a constant theme of black and white images with a very DIY aesthetic which attempts to mimic the types of promotion local bands would engage in when the band were growing up. On the final package the black and white remains but the images and packaging as a whole have a much more professional finish to them.
The vinyl itself is top quality, 180g and white. Earlier this year we saw 4AD pull out all the stops for the violet coloured records in their High Violet package and here, although they haven’t gone to the same lengths, the quality is still excellent. It seems 4AD are willing to reward regular purchasers of their goods with various coloured vinyls. The stickers on the vinyl are made to make it look like a tape reel. This may seem fairly boring on first viewing, but once you look at them whilst the record is spinning the full charm unveils itself to you.
The packaging is simple, just a cardboard sleeve for the record housed within a larger cardboard jacket. Both sleeves are covered in images; the front beholding the now iconic image of praying woman on the front. The back features the tracklist presented in a hand-written live set-list style. The only place on the outer sleeve that the band and album title are mentioned on the outer sleeve are on the very thin spine, leaving the larger images untouched and more aesthetically pleasing.
The inner sleeve features a fairly non-descript photo on one side and all the lyrics for the album with a small picture of each member on the other. It’s a shame that there is no actual booklet; last time with Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. the package came with a short but interesting booklet featuring several artistic pictures. This time we got lyrics instead, but the trade is debatable.
Verdict: The package and vinyl are both manufactured very well, though there is not much to it as a whole. This is a good purchase for any fan, but not quite a “must buy.”