Music has an incredible ability to evoke such strong emotions. It’s as though a certain song can act like a window into your soul and, suddenly, you feel deeply connected to the artist and their words. That’s how I feel when listening to Helicopter by Deerhunter. For me, this shoegaze track is about more than just its captivating energy – it skillfully draws out my innermost feelings in ways that are hard to find elsewhere.
Before Neil Young’s Spotify issue, I heard Helicopter in my living room. I was listening to my weekly Spotify suggestions when it suggested that I might enjoy Helicopter. A few years ago, I became enamored with the song and realized it was unique.
On YouTube, I discovered a television edit that might explain more.
In addition to being blown away by the beauty of the song, I was convinced that everything was not well with the band’s singer.
For example, there is a subtle shot of the young man vomiting in a bathroom. A hangover is not the intention of the shot; it implies a disorder that typically affects young, vulnerable women.
The year of the song is 2010, on an album called Halcyon Digest, and that was long before ByteDance created TikTok, so it is not as if his vulnerability could be attributed, for example, to too much time in front of that app. The young man has sexual concerns (a euphemism by which I mean deviance).
It worried me that I would also appear deviant if I expressed this interest. Suppose my mother or sister were to read what I posted here.
While I think any concern like that is unwarranted, I know I had my mother’s support in seeing PG-type material when I was just becoming an adolescent. As it is often said, if Deerhunter is highly online, I am not sure if he is a boy. However, as Johnny Depp commented about Alice Cooper in Dark Shadows, she is the most unsightly woman he has ever seen.
As the Deerhunter singer has explained, he was a big fan of the Tim Burton movie Edward Scissorhands starring Johnny Depp. Since this was in the late nineteen eighties or early nineteen nineties, he probably saw Dark Shadows. I was close to fourteen when Edward Scissorhands came out, so I did not have any problems watching it.
However, Depp’s heartthrob status might have been a point of conversation between many men and their sons afterward if something like that came up. The girl in our house was young enough that if she had seen that movie when it was new, she would have believed that Vincent Price could actually build a man with scissors for hands.
When Halcyon Digest is being sold, it probably deserves an 18+ courtesy.
The song itself also lyrically explores the singer’s introversion, status as an entertainer, what I think is his substance use, and even his carbon footprint.
It should surprise no one that a rock singer could be troubled by a drug problem. However, I am wary of accidentally implying that I share the same concerns that the Deerhunter singer seems to indicate bother him. It is similar to how I began today’s post.
His gifted musical ability and sense of connection make me feel connected to him.
I don’t think Deerhunter’s Bandcamp account includes in the band’s discography any of their music from the year 2010 onwards. In other words, Halcyon Digest is neither for sale nor streaming, the last time I checked. The band is there, but only their earlier work appears, odd considering Halcyon Digest is proudly on the label 4AD.