The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Humanism in Electronic Pop
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It’s been almost five years since I realized that I was in love with the Brooklyn-based, Baltimore-bred band Animal Collective. I had fired up Sung Tongs, expecting something vaguely similar to Iron and Wine’s The Creek Drank the Cradle, Devendra Banhart’s Rejoicing in the Hands, or Joanna Newsom’s “Bridges and Balloons,” all of which, like the Collective, had been branded as “freak-folk” by that year’s musical ethnographers. The other signposts indicated were the Smile-era Beach Boys.

Instead, there was this weird sound — “Leaf House” — that didn’t quite work in headphones or at parties or in your car, but rattled around in your brain. The harmonies on “Who Could Win A Rabbit” paid off the Beach Boys campfire rumors, but I still didn’t quite know what to do with it. Finally, “Kids on Holiday” won me over. Its lo-fi strum, its fleeting, wavering, erotic yelps, and solemnly intoned lyrics about a Felliniesque trip to the airport, replete with surreal details (“the smell of pajamas”) and quotable asides (“Where the hell have I got to?”). It was Pet Sounds, but polymorphously perverse.

This is a very roundabout way to say that AC’s new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is out — and it’s very different from those weird not-quite-folky sounds on Sung Tongs. But it’s even more awesome. I’m pencilling Animal Collective in as the best indie-alternative band of the decade.

6 comments

Also check out “Feels”…often gets lost between “Sung Tongs” and “Strawberry Jam.”

You’re kidding — it seems to me that Feels is the most universally beloved of Animal Collective records. Maybe I’m running with a weird crew.

It’s good to figure out where you part ways with people — where, somehow, for some reason, your brains bend differently and take different paths.

Sooo many people whose taste I admire love Animal Collective. But I just cannot find a way in. I listened to a couple of the new tracks today, and they simply do not speak to me. Like flat images on the page; I can sort of appreciate that they’re there, but they never leap into 3D.

Animal Collective doesn’t work when you listen to them in a computer closet. Just sayin’.

Ah hahahahahahhaha. Oh CRAP. I’ve unwittingly armed you with the ultimate weapon. To any argument, you can reply: “Yeah, I’ll bet it seems that way… WHEN YOU’RE SITTING IN A CLOSET.”

Yes, the argumentum ad closetem!

Although actually I’ve got to concede something… on re-listens, the new album sounds impressive, but not as fetching as AC’s previous releases. There’s something a little less wild about it. I don’t know. Either I need to take some time or your closetuitions might be right.

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