Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Wild things

I was astounded to discover that Animal Collective have now produced ten albums over the course of nearly two decades together. To mark the milestone, reached with the release of new record Painting With, Pitchfork asked them to reflect on their musical path, prompting them to discuss The Grateful Dead, being college drop-outs and the place of personality and emotion in their music.

As I've probably said a few times before round these parts, I liked 2007's Strawberry Jam and loved 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion (their pop opus), as did many others - but their beyond-underwhelming performance at Glastonbury 2009 completely soured everything and I found myself unenthusiastic about going back to their old records and unwilling to investigate what has followed since (the self-consciously more difficult Centipede Hz and now Painting With).

Nevertheless, one of my best discoveries of the last couple of years was Panda Bear's 2007 album Person Pitch, which is effectively a solo blueprint for Merriweather, and Painting With's lead single 'FloriDada' has a similarly dayglo pop effervescence to Merriweather's best moments 'My Girls' and 'Summertime Clothes' (and a video to match), staying just the right side of annoying. Perhaps, in light of this and the fact that they're veterans of the musical leftfield, they deserve my renewed attention.

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