The ice has all melted. The geese are back to poop on the grass. Girls are still wearing yoga pants. It’s March and things are pretty darn good (not for Terence though he lives in Boston lololololol). Basically, there is no better time to be celebrating Eat Your Beaties’ sweet sixteen. We out chea celebrating with a flip of Animal Collective’s “College” which is one song in Holm’s very rad 365 beaties year long project, the first clear beatie of the year contender from Lord Raja and AceMo, weirdo grooves from Dirtybird Beats, some gorgeous guitar from Shak and the return of spliff master simpson. HAPPY SWEET SIXTEENTH!!
Animal Collective’s highly-anticipated, hotly disputed and (in our humble opinions) utterly brilliant Centipede Hz has been out for about a week now and has been met by a large amount of criticism for not being a perfect album. While Animal Collective aren’t a band that listens much to what people have to say about their music, it seems they are playing towards their fans who have been begging for some acoustic AnCo since 2004′s masterpiece Sung Tongs. Recorded at the end of last June, Animal Collective’s live set for KEXP has the band stripping away most of their electronics and effects in place for some earthy acoustic instrumentation. The result is two incredibly different takes on ‘Wide Eyed’ and ‘Pulleys’ that show off the subtler sides of Centipede Hz. ’Wide Eyed’ is Deakin’s turn in the spotlight and listening to his fragile and restrained performance here really has me hoping for some more Deak in the near future. ’Pullyes’ doubles the amount of mysticism and wonder of the original version and the set also includes an interview with Panda and Geologist as well as a performance of ‘Honeycomb’. There is a lot of gorgeous music packed into these 18 minutes.
The last time we heard some new Animal Collective I admitted that my opinions about their music immediately after listening will probably change as I continue to dive into the track. In the case of ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Gotham’, the music continued to get better and better and there is no reason why their new leak (and the first official taste of Centipede Hz with ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Gotham’ not being on the final tracklisting) ‘Today’s Supernatural’ won’t be the same. Luckily, ‘Today’s Supernatural’ has been floating around on their live performances for a while now so the barrage of sounds and vocals wasn’t a totally new assault on my mind. This is probably the closest thing I’ve ever heard Animal Collective approaching a rager with some serious punk-rock sensibilities, just all the guitar and bass is replaced with wonky synths and abstract vocal effects. Animal Collective also have a tendency to let their songs fade into each other and the teaser at the end of ‘Today’s Supernatural’ hints that the follow-up ‘Rosie Oh’ could give us some time to mellow out a bit. The second half of 2012 is delivering some amazing music and promising ever more, but for me nothing will be able to out hype Centipede Hz.
My opinion on every single Animal Collective song I have ever listened to has changed drastically as I’ve been able to spend more time with them (usually growing from “yeah I guess this is cool” to “mind blowing”), so while I’m writing this I completely am aware that anything I say now won’t be relevant in a few days. Animal Collective have finally released the first taste of their follow up to 2009′s amazing releases Merriweather Post Pavillion and Fall Be Kind. As expected, Animal Collective sound nothing like they did when we last heard them. Instead, ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Gotham’ seem to borrow from all their past releases with an incredibly colorful and fun sound. ‘Honeycomb’, which has been a live mainstay for Animal Collective for a while, bounces around on Strawberry Jam weirdness with washes of Merriweather’s pure pop bliss while ‘Gotham’ is much more understated with touches of Feels noisiness. The reason I can confidently say Animal Collective are my favorite band is because of how great they are at working across a spectrum of emotions and sounds, something that ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Gotham’ show off incredibly well. Go pre-order the single from Domino and hit the link below for the stream.
I’m not sure the last time I discovered a song so hard to describe yet so instantly appealing as ‘Fingernails’ by Field Dress. The first thing I noticed about the song was the lead singer’s voice which is probably the closest I’ve ever heard a band coming to Animal Collective’s Avey Tare. Then there was the bouncing bass that kept the song at an almost southern rock-like pace that I would expect to hear from bands like Alabama Shakes or My Morning Jacket. I could go on describing how bits of the song remind me of other styles of music but the best way to experience ‘Fingernails’ is just to go ahead and listen because this song isn’t the type that should be pinned down in words.
You may remember back in 2010 when Animal Collective hosted an extremely avant-garde and psychedelic art exhibit at New York’s Guggenheim museum, now, for Record Store Day 2012, Animal Collective have released the soundtrack to the exhibit. As expected, Transverse Temporal Gyrus is very abstract and atmospheric. This isn’t the first time Animal Collective has released something like this, the soundtrack to their movie ODDSAC is very ambient as well, but whereas ODDSAC had more classically structured songs like “Tantrum Barb” sprinkled throughout, Transverse Temporal Gyrus almost completely leaves that out. Although its interesting to see what sounds go through Animal Collectives’ heads when they aren’t recording a normal LP, I can’t see myself going back and listening to this very frequently, and I’m just anticipating their upcoming followup to Merriweather Post Pavilion even more now. Click the jump below to listen to the LP.