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Album Review: Animal Collective – Painting With

By on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 at 12:00 pm

Animal Collective - Painting With album cover There’s no band around that have a sound quite like Animal Collective. If not flitting between electronic and straight up abstract, they manage to craft the most peculiar tracks from the most normal of sounds. With their return album ‘Paint With’, the Baltimore group remove the reverberant element found on their earlier material and instead rely upon the instantaneousness of sharp instrumentation and noise.

Leading single from the record ‘FloriDada’ may seem like a throwaway attempt to mildly mock the southern American state, but it’s more than likely a nod toward the influences of Dadaism, a French art movement that specialises in the abstract, something that Animal Collective certainly are natural at creating. The composition of the track is tribal in its use of drums and chanting, and the chorus has an infectious quality which follows you long after the album is finished. It’s definitely a strong, albeit mildly chaotic, start.

Things die down, which itself is a term lightly used, on the second track ‘Hocus Pocus’. It’s much more of a wandering track that uses a mildly minimalistic approach, with a small synthesiser pattern and a repetitive drum line taking the reins. There’s also John Cale playing a viola processed to create a low droning, because having just a vocal take would be boring.


‘Vertical’ refers back to the organised chaos of ‘FloriDada’, vocals contributing to the bulk of this chaos. Voices flit between both speakers, until the bridge hits where suddenly the en-tire instrumentation is unable to remain rooted and cascades around the stereophonic field your head creates. Although Animal Collective aren’t for everyone, they certainly have the production side of things nailed, with the best medium to listen to this album being headphones. It can be overwhelming at times, but there is still a certain element of fun about it that keeps you going.

The majority of the album takes on the form of the latter three tracks. Strangely for an album that references such an abstract movement, the abstractness is very one-sided. The cycle of random noises, a beat and vocals that try their hardest to make you believe there are genuinely voices in your head is one that is rinsed and repeated throughout. There is also a fair amount of samples from various TV shows or films used at the entrance to select songs, which, in a way, act as a buffers, creating a segue that refreshes the journey throughout this record.

Album closer ‘Recycling’ is where the journey ends, and you get the sense that the break Animal Collective took between this and their last album has renewed whatever energy or creative hub they utilise to create such experimental sounds. The track is almost a summary point in its playful use of high tones and sounds throughout the outro, with knowledge and acceptance that is geared toward the fact you’ve made it through the album and at this point, you may have gone a bit insane.

The record is a listen that, depending on your frame of mind, could either be something completely enlightening or just straight up enveloping and oppressive. Whichever side of the field you fall you, there is a certain aspect that you just can’t deny of Animal Collective. They are, by no means, conforming to the standard ideals of musical composition and will use any sound possible to create whatever their collective minds can conjure.


‘Painting With’, Animal Collective’s newest album, is out now on Domino Records. To read more on Animal Collective on TGTF, go here.


Video of the Moment #1983: Animal Collective

By on Monday, 11th January 2016 at 6:00 pm

Seems appropriate for me to be sharing with a promo video from a band from my neck of the woods as the first VOTM of 2016. Animal Collective, who have been tooling around as a band for an amazing 15 years, will be releasing their equally amazing in number 11th album ‘Painting With’ on Domino Records in February.

Never willing to follow in the footsteps of anyone else, instead relying on their own instincts and initiative, the band from Baltimore revealed the first single from ‘Painting With’, ‘FloriDada’, in late November. Now, the group have unveiled the single’s promo that, as has been the case for seemingly ever single Animal Collective video I’ve ever seen, made me laugh. I don’t think that’s ever the intention, but somehow, I get the feeling that the Animal Collective guys are the funny ones every night at the bar. Watch the video below.

‘Painting With’ drops on Domino on the 19th of February. Stay tuned. For more on Animal Collective in past posts on TGTF, go here.



Video of the Moment #1948: Animal Collective

By on Tuesday, 3rd November 2015 at 6:00 pm

Ah yes, Animal Collective. Aka that lovably weird band from Baltimore that brought us videos starring a pink monster driving a dune buggy and weird bearded shamans. So actually, given all of that weirdness we’ve come to be used to when uttering Animal Collective’s name, their latest video release seems pretty…normal.

‘Flower Garden Banks’ is the name given to the underwater visual soundtracked by a nearly 24-minute long sound clip that was the band practising in the studio back in May. The otherworldly, experimental sounds go oddly well with the dark, mysterious coral examined in the night in the Gulf of Mexico by what I’m guessing is a professional scuba diver, his path lit by two members of the band. That sounds trippy enough so I’m just going to leave this here for you to watch.



Video of the Moment #1284: Animal Collective

By on Thursday, 8th August 2013 at 6:00 pm

The promo video for Animal Collective‘s ‘Monkey Riches’ is as odd as you would expect from the Baltimore band. Ropes acting like snakes under control by a crazy man lying in bed? After a while, you just stop asking for an explanation from people as weird as them. Right? Watch the video below.



Video of the Moment #1112: Animal Collective

By on Saturday, 2nd February 2013 at 6:00 pm

It seems only appropriate that after following this morning’s NSFW, trippy video from Tame Impala that we bring you an even more nonsensical video, this time from those Baltimore brains of Animal Collective. For their track ‘Applesauce’ off their latest album, 2012’s ‘Centipede Hz’, they’ve got flashing coloured lights in the background while a camera provides a close up shot of a woman eating fruit. I’m not sure with all the lip and tongue action if this is supposed to be terribly tantalising to men or what, but I find it horrid. Fruit being defiled! Make your own decision about it by watching the video below.



Video of the Moment #929: Animal Collective

By on Saturday, 18th August 2012 at 6:00 pm

The new video for Animal Collective‘s ‘Today’s Supernatural’ is a bit strange and might give you motion sickness. Just saying.

Their new album ‘Centipede Hz’ will be released on the 3rd of September. (Oh wait. Centipede? The video makes more sense now…)



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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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