Artist Profile – Animal Collective

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The Animal Collective surprises with every turn. They combine an unlikely orchestra of sounds and their songs amble across structures instead of repeating them. After composing a short melody, they break it and walk away. Eight-minute songs might never hit a noticeable groove, but instead cloud the seas with drones and hollers. Along the way, any number of unexpected noises, characters, and hairpin turns keep the experience lively, unsettling, alienating for some listeners, and all the more engrossing for others. – Dusted Reviews

MySpace Page

Animal Collective are endless genre-hoppers and fearless sound explorers who need no special introduction – their popularity grew immensely, ever since the band’s debuted early in a new millennium. In addition to their work with AC, each member of the band is also involved in solo/side projects and they also run Paw Tracks, an off-shoot label of Carpark Records.

Spirit-Theyve-Gone-Spirit-Theyve-Vanished-150x150 Artist Profile - Animal Collective
Spirit They’ve Gone Spirit They’ve Vanished – 2000

The band (comprised of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin and Geologist) started out with 2000 “Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished” LP, which came out on their own label Animal. Prior to their involvement with AC, Panda Bear released his self-titled 1998 album and other members were in Automine, which also included Brendan Fowler (BARR) and David Shpritz.

“Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished” was recorded by two of the band’s members – Avey Tare and Panda Bear. Dusted Review commented that the album “begins with a surprising combination of abstract electronics and engaging melody. The digital cloud of “Spirit They’ve Vanished” eases into the twisted pop of “April and the Phantom,” with a cleansing burst of noise in between. The twelve-minute album closer is a particularly fantastic creation. Where some moments throughout the album might lose focus or wander too far, “Alvin Row” reins in and eases loose in perfect ways.”

A follow-up to “Spirit” was 2001 “Danse Manatee” (both albums were reissued by FatCat records), which added a third member, Geologist, to the line-up. DR commented on songs from the album – ““Penguin Penguin” and “Essplode” surround the vocals with brittle whistles and whines, shuffling percussion, and noisy shards. “Thrown the Round Ball,” “Running the Round Ball,” and “Bad Crumbs” are two-minute gems that jam multiple, manipulated, or looped voices with shaky rhythms, panning droney cymbals, and static edges. “In the Singing Box” begins with a playful back and forth between the right and left speaker, and then grows into a similar pattern that alternates brief drone parts with layered rhythmic parts. “

Campfire-Songs-150x150 Artist Profile - Animal Collective
Campfire Songs – 2003

2002 brought live album “Hollindagain”, which documented the band’s tour with Black Dice and 2003 brought “Campfire Songs” / “Here Comes The Indian”, first albums to feature all four band members.

All Music Guide described “Here Comes The Indian” as an album that was “Informed in equal parts by acid-fried psychosis, crop-circle field recordings, and an elephants-on-the-loose circus thrash aesthetic” and that “rests roughly at the meeting point between psychedelic, noise, and folk music.”

Following years brought 2004 “Sung Tongs”, 2005 “Feels”, 2007 “Strawberry Jam” and, finally, the band’s most recent studio album (as of 2009) – “Merriweather Post Pavillion”.  2005 “Prospect Hummer” EP saw the band collaborating with a singer Vashti Bunyan.

“Merriweather Post Pavillion” received 5 stars out of 5 from Uncut and Slant Magazine, while Boston Phoenix gave it a rating of 2 and a half stars out of 5 and concluded that the albums lacks spontaneity and playfulness of the band’s previous efforts.

Band Members:

Avey Tare

Geologist

Deaken

Panda Bear

Discography:

Spirit They’ve Gone Spirit They’ve Vanished CD / 2xLP (Animal, 2000 / FatCat, 2009)

Danse Manatee CD / LP (Catsup Plate, 2001  / FatCat, 2009)

Hollindagain CD / LP (St. Ives, 2002 / Paw Tracks, 2006)

4-Track Radio Promo CD (FatCat, 2003)

Campfire Songs CD (Catsup Plate, 2003)

Here Comes The Indian CD / LP (Paw Tracks, 2003)

Spirit They’ve Gone Spirit They’ve Vanished / Danse Manatee 2xCD (FatCat, 2003)

Sung Tongs CD / 2xLP (FatCat, 2004 / 2008, Soyuz Music, 2006)

Wastered 12″ (Paw Tracks, 2004)

Who Could Win A Rabbit CD / DVD / 7″ (FatCat, 2004)

Feels CD / 2XCD / 2XLP (FatCat, 2005)

Grass CD / 7″ (FatCat, 2006)

Prospect Hummer CD EP (FatCat, 2005)

People CD / 7″ / 12″ (Spunk, 2006 / Spunk + Nervous Jerk, 2006 /

Purple Bottle / Polly 7″ (Self-Released, 2006)

Fireworks CDr / 10″ (Domino, 2007)

Peacebone CD / CDr / 10″ / 12″ (Domino, 2007)

Strawberry Jam CD / 2XLP (Domino, 2007 / Soyuz Music, 2007)

Water Curses EP CD / 12″ (Domino, 2008)

Animal Crack Box 3xLP (Catsup Plate, 2009)

Brothersport 10″ / MP3 (Domino, 2009)

Fall To Be Kind 12″ / MP3 (Domino, 2009)

Merriweather Post Pavillion CD / 2XLP (Domino, 2009)

My Girls CD (Domino, 2009)

Summerime Clothes CD / 12″ / MP3 (Domino, 2009 / RCRD LBL, 2009)

Selected Compilation Tracks:

“April And The Phantom” on Mind The Gap Volume 47 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 2003)

“Bat You’ll Fly” on The Wire Tapper 10 (Wire Magazine, 2003)

“Visiting Friends” on How To Make A Stone Knife (Mu, 2005)

“Kids On Holiday” on Folk Off – New Folk And Psychedelia From The British Isles And North America (Sunday Best, 2006)

“Fickle Cycle” on H.A.T.E. (Persona Non Grata + FatCat, 2006)

“Winter’s Love” on Shortbus Soundtrack (V2 Music France, 2007)

“Safer” on Causes 1 (Waxploitation, 2007)

“Peacebone” on Shopping For Blood (Domino, 2009)


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