In the Flowers My Girls Also Frightened Summertime Clothes Daily Routine Bluish Guys Eyes Taste Lion in a Coma No More Runnin Brother Sport
Animal Collective is a group of four best friends who grew up playing and recording music together in Baltimore County Maryland. Why Animal? Cause it's the only word we could think of that made any remote connection to what we thought our sound was and of course, we love our fellow animals very much. Why Collective? Cause we have always wanted to be the ones who define what and who AC is. Two people? Four people? Why not? Don't be surprised if you come to see us and it's not what you thought it would be, and try not to get too upset. AC continues to make music after seven years, six studio records and one live record, that combines a love of sonic free form electronic horror gospel hip hop soul pop madness and brings it all together into something that is (hopefully) at times totally pleasing and at others completely scary and confusing but most importantly is refreshing in this crazy crazy world.
Animal Collective have brought the celestial down to earth with each record, but they've never sounded simultaneously otherworldly and approachable quite like they do on Merriweather Post Pavilion. Their eighth studio LP, it finds them at their best -- straining farther away from conventional song structure and accompaniment, even while doubling back to reach lyrical themes and modes of singing at their most basic or child-like. Where before AC expertly inserted experimental snippets into relatively straight-ahead songs, Merriweather Post Pavilion sees them reach some kind of denouement where pop music ends and pure sonic experience begins -- the sound is the only structure. Dismantling the framework of a pop song almost entirely (but using recurring passages in a very poppy way), the group offer a series of overlapping circular elements, all of which occasionally come together for a chorus but then break apart just as quickly. The music itself, at least what's describable about it, consists of deep bass pulses and art-damaged guitars with overlapping vocal harmonies that rise in a holy chorus. This may sound much like previous Animal Collective highlights, but where those records seemed like a series of accidental masterpieces -- the type of work that sounds brilliant only because it's been culled from hundreds of hours of tape -- Merriweather Post Pavilion is a perfectly organized record, not a note out of place, not a second wasted. It has the excitement and energy of Sung Tongs, the ragged sonic glory of Feels, and Strawberry Jam's ability to make separate parts come together in a glorious whole. Like the best experimental rockers surging toward nirvana -- from the Beach Boys to Mercury Rev -- Animal Collective have not only created a private soundworld like none other, they've also made it an inviting place to visit.
Comprising a loose collective of avant-garde musicians, Animal Collective was established in New York City by Avey Tare (aka David Porter) and Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox). Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished marked the group's first release in 2000. Issued on the musicians' own Animal imprint, it was the first of a flurry of captivating, occasionally frustrating releases exploring the fringes and intersecting boundaries of folk, noise rock, ambient drone, twisting psychedelia, and — ultimately — pure melody. Joined by their friends Geologist (aka Brian Weitz) and Deaken (aka Conrad Deaken), Tare and Panda Bear released Danse Manatee (issued on the Catsup Plate label) in 2001, followed by a live album documenting their debut tour alongside Black Dice. Here Comes the Indian (Paw Tracks) was issued in 2003 to considerable acclaim, and the Collective backed it up with the droning, folky simmer of Campfire Songs, again for Catsup Plate. (FatCat also became the group's European sponsor, issuing their first two albums as a package and signing them for future releases.) Animal Collective returned in May 2004 with Sung Tongs, a mysterious, fragilely melodic album that garnered even more critical acclaim and spawned a series of tours. Panda Bear issued Young Prayer, his solo debut, in September 2004. The Prospect Hummer EP, which featured a collaboration with Vashti Bunyan, appeared in May 2005, and the full-length Feels followed in October of that year.