Animal Collective has been caged by expectations. Hip-blogger courts christened the Brooklyn-bards of experimental computer pop-operas as the bar-setters for staggeringly meticulous, invigoratingly synth-spruced compositions, molding them into mystical levels – wizardly winders of incredibly evocative, multifaceted, timeless / genre-less / home-planetless arias that are warm, weird together, jagged and danceable all at once.

But there’s what I call the “King of Limbs”-effect (referencing comparable leftfield rock-gods Radiohead’s most recent release and the underwhelming response stoked by the majority of their listener base). Anticipation risks exceeding even AC’s own uncannily packed arrangements, thus that you’ve dreamed-up impossible heights for them, and the inevitable reaction/review resonates somewhere near to: “It’s good but…” But you wanted more?

I’ll just direct you to the prevailing track on “Centipede Hz,” the rhythmic stampede and synth-squalled whirl of “Monkey Rich.” This seven minute blur of elemental crossfire, amped-up oscillations whirring over a garrison of myriad percussion, is altogether tribal, kinetic, meandering, powerful even – but is it panicking? What can we try next? Will this be weird enough to suit everyone’s liking? “Why doesn’t everybody always dance?” sings Avey Tare (/Dave Portner), “Makes me wonder how I even wrote this song…”

In a recent interview with online music-mag Stereogum, Deakin (/Josh Dibb) slipped a telling phrase: “motivating pressure.” The key, though, is to assure that your main source of therapy, your music, doesn’t in itself become an extension, an inflammatory experience, of said “pressure.” Release the pressure we weird-pop-lovers have placed on you by just doing your thing. And if you’ve done that (and I believe this thing to at least be a notably more interesting record than the blithe buoyancy of “Merriweather Post Pavilion”) and most still find it “eh, s’okay…” Well, then maybe that’s okay. For now.

About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.