Animal Collective - Centipede Hz

Earlier tonight, Animal Collective’s Panda Bear dropped the first official single from the forthcoming Centipede Hz on the brand-new Animal Collective Radio. The song — called “Today’s Supernatural” — is a winding acid drip of a cut where Avey Tare takes the lead, a track where Deakin’s promise is definitely fulfilled. Look out for the prominent Baltimore shout out. Hear it below.

Centipede Hz is out 9/4 on Domino.

Comments (110)
  1. Okay NOW I can’t wait for Centipede Hz

  2. sounds like strawberry jam on pcp

  3. Ouch! Great song but so loud! Now my ear Hz.

  4. shouty avey tare is good avey tare

  5. Sounds like album-of-the-year material to me.

  6. Everything about this song’s rules except for Avey’s voice in the first two minutes or so. I love Shouting Avey as much (or more) than everyone else but he just sounds sleazy/like 311 at the beginning of this song.

  7. Oh God. I can already tell that this record is not going to have middle-ground opinions. When this inevitably makes Album of the Week and a BNM from Pitchfork, I expect a shit storm of Katrina-like proportion. I hope the small, yet extremely vocal, Animal Collective resistance group weighs in on this pretty soon.

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      • The progressions on this feel rather lazy to me, too, especially compared to earlier output from the band. This isn’t “weird”. It’s just neither here nor there.

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      • It’s interesting to know that you can take a bath in somebody else’s shit “in a good way.”

        Personally, I’m not into that but unlike you, I will not call it bad just because I don’t like it. :)

  8. This track makes me want to put on a mariachi outfit and try LSD..

  9. alien caveman thrash pop. i love it so much. so much.

  10. This is catchy as fuck! “Gotham” was pretty hard for me to get into, and “I thought “Honeycomb” sounded pretty fuckin goofy, but this gives me all sorts of hope.

  11. Potentially more influenced by Siberian Khatru than any previous AC song?

  12. Bad joke about drugs and HZ=Hurts.

  13. I had this “been there, done that” feeling – not only in comparison to material from the band, but of other’s experimentation in the last few years. Knowing AC, a record that sounded like Merriweather was not on the way. Reading some of their interviews from last year and on, I sorta had the feeling that this would be rawer than previous materials, but, it seems like they gain some and lost a little bit more. I’m underwhelmed, so far. I must also point out that a follow up of albums as acclaimed as their 2009 effort should receive much more press than it’s been getting. I’ve been also disappointed by other returns from the class of 2009: the xx’s Angel sounded too similar to what they already built with their debut, even if it wasn’t a bad song; Same for Bat For Lashes’ Laura, which would easily fit in any of her two previous “concept” albums; Dirty Projector’s Swing Lo Magellan had overhyped weak lyrics and poorly constructed songs; Grizzly Bear’s Sleeping Ute remains unremarkable and lacking character after many spins. I also need to point out that none of the albums released by them in 2009 had the staying power I believed they had that year – I’ve seen myself much more inclined to listen to albums like Feels or Yellow House in comparison and listening to much more music beyond that time. 2012 has been, so far, a pretty underwhelming year, even more than 2011; It does feel like dozens of that uneven Bon Iver’s self titled album multiplied by Jesus and the music press – or whoever you believe that can multiply bread and hype.

    • Maybe you should stop spending so much time listening to music you don’t like.

      • It doesn’t mean I don’t like them if I’m disappointed by their weaker efforts. Actually, it means I like them enough to keep track of their records even when I’m underwhelmed. I’m still checking AC’s new album, the same way I’m still checking the other albums. If I don’t, how am I supposed to know how I currently feel about them and criticize or praise their efforts? All that glitters is not gold. I’ve seen plenty of fans comparing this unfavorably to their previous material and no, we’re not speaking not only of the well-known of My Girls or Fireworks or Brother Sport as much as previous material since Sung Tongs and Feels and Here Comes the Indian. I’ve seen more than a couple of comments comparing this unfavorably to a bad MGMT song and – yuck – even Ke$ha. I’m here to say that If you’re a fan, you’re disappointed and are not getting all the hype surrounding these couple of new records: you’re not alone. I’m not here for likes, or anything else as much as expressing my uncalled opinion like anyone else’s.

        • Yeah I agree that I don’t like this track so far, but I’ve never been a big AC fan so this just isn’t changing my mind. Maybe you should try out other bands in different genres, cause I have a hard time believing a music fan couldn’t find some good stuff to enjoy from 2009, or 2011-present which you said were weak years. Just because Bon Iver was one of the best reviewed records of last year doesn’t mean you have to listen to it!

          • Thanks for the good piece of advice! Maybe I put it wrong, so here’s my apology and a correction: It’s not that those years were any bad, since they had plenty of good music from plenty of other genres, but those were the first that I started to question more the artists critics were hyping and falling head over hells. I just checked the RYM page of this song and there’s a review that is actually celebrating the fact that Pitchfork gave it a BNT – like that is the world’s ultimate accolade and everything an artist aims for. There’s a whole machinery behind something like that, but as someone replied me: perhaps, it’s thinking too much. And I do enjoy other genres – i’m more tightly close to Classical Music and Jazz, especially Modern Classic and mid-to-late 20th century Avant-Garde – but I might been giving too much attention to Indie frustrations, lately.

    • As soon as you said albums like Veckatimest and the XX self titled debut, along with MPP, had no staying power, I stopped reading. Shoulda never started.

      • I sure ain’t playing them these days like I thought I would. I’m not going to lie. I’m not saying that they don’t have staying power in general, since obviously they had: people enjoy them, people praise them, people do anything to them. But when it comes to how I feel about them these days: I have a nice remembrance of what they once felt like, but I don’t feel like playing. Once I considered them all time favorites and now they’re just great albums – with a good deal of weak material inward. Hey, just my opinion. I have been playing other albums constantly since day #1 and they never lose any touch with the magic once propelled and those ones failed. C’est aussi simple que cela.

    • Why does this guy have 4 negative votes for expressing his opinion? Thats what sucks about this stereogum board. You express an opinion and people press dislike instead of realizing much music is subjective and based on taste.

      • “Dirty Projector’s Swing Lo Magellan had overhyped weak lyrics and poorly constructed songs.”

        That’s a lot different from saying, “I personally didn’t find much to like about the new Dirty Projectors album.” Sorry, but the commenter kind of laid himself open to attack.

        • Yeah, but that is pretty much how I feel about that record anyway. Like Luke said, it’s subjective. And I had in my mind that people with opposite subjective opinions would disagree and even discuss about it. Power for them! As long as none of the both sides are treating their respective opinions as something objective or throwing Pitchfork ratings and MC Scores to legitimize anything, it’s the fairest thing to do. Sometimes you have opinions that clash with other people’s. Like, for example, I tend to disagree that AC music is experimental, since that word used in music has a whole other meaning to me married to artists like John Cage and modern classical artists; Or I tend to overlook mostly album reviews of BNT material of Pitchfork, since I got tired of reading a writer wandering around like he was lost in the woods of Twin Peaks instead of get to the point and speak about the music. This happen even with the artists that I enjoy. They sure know that what matters to most people is that orange score embraced by the tag line “best new music” . Discussion is all a matter of standpoint and how much you’re willing to respect an opposite opinion. Internet can be a place to really great discussions and even greater trolling that both sides can laugh about it. It’s up to the user if he wants to argue seriously or just make silly forum board wars. But since this a more direct comment board, I went straight to the point of why I disliked these records.

          • I find Swing Lo Magellan’s lyrics pretty outstanding, notably their ability to modulate between public and private, obscure and universal, without becoming strained. I’m unsure how you can listen to a song as meticulously structured as “Gun Has No Trigger” and find it poorly constructed, and I think every song on the album is pretty much airtight, written confidently with great intention. I could understand if you didn’t like the simplicity of the album compared to their earlier ones, or if maybe you just didn’t like the melodies or formal choices, but to be honest your particular criticisms just don’t ring true to my experience with the album.

          • Thanks for the glance on your opinion of Swing Lo Magellan! A better comment about my view on the album:

            Well, one thing bothered me a lot when the lead single came out: on the press release of Gun has no Trigger, vocalist Dave threw around three little words: Society of Spectacle. I’ve read this book and is a celebrated philosophical work by french writer/philosopher Guy Debord. It has nothing to do with the song nor the Facebook-inspired video. Not even close of what he tried to point out. I tried to deconstruct his thought, but nothing came out of it that could be related to the song. This can be considered as much of gimmick as the ones used by other pop artists. Guns is actually is one of the better tracks on a largely uneven one.

            I didn’t dislike Swing Lo Magellan because it is a simpler affair than Bitte Orca. One of my main criticisms on Bitte Orca is that there’s a lot of superficial make up dressed as experimentalism. There’s nothing truly envelope pushing. My criticism for the new album is of the songs themselves and their poor use of dissonances and their production choices. Amber barely sings a song and the one she sings is mostly average. Dave’s vocals are a dread to list the whole record, his technique fails him a great amount of times. The drum machine was also ill-conceived. The album could have benefited itself with the use of drums, instead of of the machine or the hand-clapping that wears off too soon. My favorite track of the record is actually the title track and we could make a case of it being the most simple song on the record – so maybe less would really mean more to them, in my opinion. Third, the lyrics doesn’t give any special glance or new perspective on the themes explored. I read his interview over here and I found ironic how many of the topics cited by the interviewer as the record’s main subjects are currently being approached by most of the independent music landscape. The thing to me is: Dave is a smart guy, he knows how to be artsy, he plays with it. I feel like there’s nothing really experimental going on with the Dirty Projectors, but there’s a lot of calculation. It’s exactly the way I feel about Lena Dunham’s Girls: she did her homework. She knows how to please the professionals and who to namedrop during a scene, how to execute, how to act, what goes in and what goes out, even the songs pick for the soundtrack. Honestly, there’s not really a problem, when the results happen to please the one who’s listening to. I found the album to lack a good amount of character; Other indie bands could have recorded it at some point. And that sure doesn’t go hand in glove to what this band seems to aim for. Again, my subjective opinion. We just happen to have very different experiences – maybe, opposite – with the same material. It’s all part of the beauty of the human mind, there’s not problem at all. We could argue about technically too, the actual songs structure, but we both know that won’t change any of the sides opinion or experience. I guess it’s further evidence of the subjective nature of opinions on the record when you consider that some find it less accessible than Bitte Orca, while others consider their easier record to date. I must thank you for expressing your views of your experience with the record in a great insightful way. I’m not really a fan of using the whole: “I personally find much to like about the new [NAME OF THE ARTIST] album”.

        • I actually replied you explaining a little better some stuff I personally disliked on the record, but my reply is nowhere to be seen. Sorry about that. To summarize what i wrote:

          1. My problem with Guns has no Triggers is that vocalist Dave namedropped “The Society of Spectacle”, a term created by french writer/philosopher Guy Debord. Dave used in the press release of the video for the song. I tried to relate his thought with the book and song and nothing came out of it. This hurts a person’s perception of a song. Pretty sure some people disliked the Lady Gaga gimmick of selling Born this Way as the anthem of the decade; I found it to be hollow name dropping the very same way. The track is one of the better moments on record.

          2. I found the album, overall, to lack character. Other indie bands could have recorded it. In some of the songs, you could switch the girls’s harmonies for boys, replace Dave and we could have a potential Fleet Foxes/General Indie Folk-like track.

          3. My problem with the album is not its simplicity. Actually, the title track is my favorite moment here. One of my criticisms of Bitte Orca is that it strived to be weird while being accessible. Dirty Projectors lead a group of bands that follows the footsteps of other previous artsy bands that label themselves as experimental, although all they mostly do is apply superficial make up on their songs. There’s nothing truly envelope pushing on the way they built their songs on both Bitte Orca or Swing Lo, what we have are dissonances and noises summered to more typical structures. It’s the case of The Socialites, for example.

          Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the record, because that’s exactly why we all listen to one, right? I wouldn’t dare to waste my time If i disliked the Dirty Projectors as a whole. I have my criticisms, but they have delivered solid songs throughout their career and Swing Lo Magellan just happen to not work for one way or another. We just happened to have different experiences provided by the same source. It happens.

          • the title track is absolutely the best track on the record

          • You’re right that they aren’t experimental the way that someone like John Cage is, but at the end of the day, I think that you have to check out the type of musical umbrella that they are operating under and re-think your definition in that context. When critics have a hard time putting music in a genre (which, to my dismay, all critics must do to make their job easier), because it mixes up so many different things (some of which may be foreign to them) they usually just say the music is experimental. I don’t think that it is Dave Longstreth’s fault as much as the people trying to describe his music. Some of his compositions and techniques are a bit unconventional in the “indie” world (I can’t stand that term even though everyone here knows what I mean when I say it), and not many people are utilizing techniques like hocketing, so of course they are going to label him as an experimentalist. These same journalist think that Grimes is making experimental music when it is really just unconventional. If you consider compositional phasing to be impressive and are familiar with the work of Schoenberg (if we are just touching the surface), then I understand why you wouldn’t find the DPs to be experimental

            I don’t know how many Dirty Projectors albums you have heard (probably all of them), but do you find the Getty Address appealing? For some reason, alot of people who jumped on board with Bitte Orca haven’t taken the time to go back into the discography (so many people do this with their “new favorite band” and it drives me crazy, not saying you are one of those people) and realize that Dave Longstreth is the Dirty Projectors. Amber’s lead vocal style is becoming more essential to the DP sound, but essentially, the DNA/blueprint of their (his) sound is Dave’s voice, his existential lyrics, his oddball genre mash-up attempts at rock/pop with orchestrations (arguably experimental in this context), and rotating members whom he can direct to do his bidding (this is a lazy overview). I like the different renditions of the band (I love Angel Deradoorian, especially), and I don’t agree with your observation that they don’t have character. Don’t take this offensively, but there is no f***ing way that any other “Indie Band” could/would have recorded Swing Lo Magellan. I get that you aren’t into them and you are highly suspicious of Longstreth’s artistic credibility but come on! Ava Luna is the only band that I can think of that is highly indebted to the Dirty Projectors and might be able to faithfully cover a track or two.

            TL;DR Critics would do the public more service if they made use of the word “unconventional” to describe rock/pop music that is outside the norm rather than “experimental” because most of this music doesn’t scratch the surface of techniques regarded as “experimental” within the avant garde/classical/compositional world of music. However, from a genre context, the term “experimental” may be applicable to artists that make use of certain techniques within this world. I agree that Swing Lo Magellan and Bitte Orca aren’t your kind of experimental, but I also don’t think that Dave Longstreth is being deceitful about the degree to which the work is to be interpreted that way. I love DP (yes, to both of the things you are thinking.)

          • I don’t disagree with anything with what you say – well, except to the idea that I do think other Indie Bands could have recorded the album. Most of the times the critics are the ones to blame, but not with the example of the Gun has Not Triggers, since Dave was the one who issued it. Interviews, press releases by the artists, social media these days, all of them are our contemporary ways to take a glance into the artists’ mind outside music in real time. Back in the day, one had to hold its breath for a good profile or a book that would have the artist as a subject. The way an artist sees his own music is as much of a valid insight to his music as our personal views. So, If you’re going to namedrop someone, a term or try to relate your music to other artist’s, you better do it right. Outside music we had Watchmen paying tribute to the famous William Burroughs cut-up technique in one of its editions and throughout the whole series; Kate Bush went on record for trying to use James Joyce for The Sensual World, something that didn’t work out the way she expected because of the owner of his rights (she did made magic happen out of it with Wuthering Heights, though); Patti Smith linked her early lyrics to the poems of french poet and proto-surrealist Arthur Rimbaud; Philip Glass backing the poems of Allen Ginsberg and the list goes on. Dave misused the term as much as I believe critics misuse the term experimental and are more worried about a score rather than a written analysis of work.

            I had already stated that, like anyone else, I had a personal view of experimental music. I understand the reason why critics and audience use it these days in the indiesphere, I just don’t agree with it or change any of my uses. In my opinion, for example, there’s little on the Dirty Projectors that screams as forward thinking as a good amount of artists that made part of the New York No Wave scene in the late 70s and early 80s; The same way that no use of dissonance and other experimental tendencies comes near of what Captain Beefheart or Henry Cow have also achieved decades before. I have listened to the more “experimental” side of the work whose only experimental feel it had was that Dave and Co. were experimenting what sound would fit the band better, like trying different combinations of clothes on a department store.

            The way I feel about the use of the experimental tag by most people, is pretty much In the vein of what I feel about people describing Graceland as Afro-Pop and, these days, the likes of Vampire Weekend. When I was a college student here in France, some colleagues and I studied african culture for a couple of years as a research group and there were amazing things that came out of it. Even the tribal songs proved to have a natural, accidental dissonance of their own. Artists, mostly anglophone, just “experiment” with the superficial part of it. Depending of the listener, the results can range from the usual great to out-right disrespectful. One of the first artists to sample a tribe was Joni Mitchell in the Hissing Summer Lawns and it sure complemented the subject of her song; Talking Heads were also successful matching their art rock style with world influences; 70s Funk and 60s Jazz Fusion have also been successful in developing a DNA from non-anglophones influences, but on other side of the spectrum Vampire Weekend’s Contra is to me as afro-infused as the Lion King Soundtrack. tUnE-yArDs has been compared to the Dirty Projectors – and she sure could have recorded something like Swing Lo – but tracks like Riotriot takes a significant amount of what made brazilian’s Tropicalia one of the most celebrated genres of all times, whose mixes of northeastern traditional music and 20th century modernism were the basis of one of the most forward thinking music movements of the history of recorded music. One could play with w h o k i l l the “let’s name the elements she used to create this track” game all the way through it, because basically all the material has been delivered before, in pieces and even as a whole – see the critics comparing Gangsta to the music of M.I.A., another one who has benefitted herself from Brazilian Funk and Southern Asian music. That doesn’t mean one has to find the album bad, but the material needs to strives further to cover new ground and actually justifies its place as envelope pushing stuff – this time is less the artist’s fault, than critics and audience alike. I don’t see any of the three indie artists I cited actually pushing anything as much as applying make up to their more usual structures and delivering pop music to mixed results. I don’t hate them and they have delivered the goods throughout their recording career – there are some great uses of chamber music influence on VW’s debut album – but I can’t praise them further than that or even misuse another word also throw around: revolutionary.

            I believe that having a character is something that experience, not experiment mainly creates. Artists like Patti Smith and PJ Harvey have created characters of their own without the use of what is mostly found these days with those “experimental” indie artists. All the characteristics that you wrote about Dave, I don’t happen to agree with it. It’s okay, it’s pure subjectivism. When i think about someone who could actually fit in those categories inside the indie world, the first name that came to my mind was Joanna Newsom’s. She does have a voice of her own, a singular way to approach her lyrics and, like the great classic composer Philip Glass put it a few weeks ago, range in her playing. There are three different approaches to harp playing used throughout her three albums and combined with all the other characteristics, the more unusual Indie Folk arrangements one natural to Newsom and other gained by studying English language, she happens to create a character of her own. Weird, since, in my opinion, her music is wilder than many of her peers without the need to sound wild – see Julia Holter whose pop songs are always flavoured with ambient breaks that happens to overstays her songs welcome or like you pointed out Grimes. Even if Van Dyke Parks was the one who conducted the orchestras for Ys, he has gone on record to claim that Newsom had most of the orchestration’s progression in mind and he only put it on the paper and elaborated the execution – in the meanwhile winning a few battles of what could sound better instead of what she actually had in mind. In my opinion, DP’s use of orchestrations is great, a highlight of their recorded music, but I won’t deny that their approach to fusion with pop isn’t new ground either. 1970s singer-songwriter Judee Sill went even further than Newsom conducting and recording her own orchestrations for her last album, Heart of Food, which is much more closer from the spirit of Bach than to any of the chamber folk trends of her peers. I also believe that the groundbreaking use of orchestration, and, yes, mixing with pop rock, was made decades ago by the likes of Van Dyke Parks, Serge Gainsbourg and Scott Walker – in the case of Walker, being used to this date. I really enjoy those artists, but I also tend not to use the word experimental towards them. Although they did became future influences and changed the face of pop music their own way, I think it would still be a stretch to compare their orchestration work to the ones of someone like Arvö Part. It’s like comparing the marvelous Joni Mitchell’s Jazz fusions of the late-70s to the ones made by Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Coltrane- it’s more of a simplification of what they did summed to her folk tendencies and political-personal commentary. The results are excellent, but that doesn’t mean I’ll overlook this small criticism.

            I feel like DP is not doing anything truly revolutionary or experimental. A mix of a simplification of genres, noises and instrumentation is nothing more than the sum of all them being played if the results doesn’t happen to click with the listener. Take this song by AC for example. Some will feel that there’s a lot going on, that it strives to be weird for the sake weird – an anti-commercial answer after a surprising hit album; Others will feel that it’s an incredible mix of genres and things they previously did, that covers new ground. A band that is following up one of the greatest albums of all time with a new beginning, heading towards new things. It depends on the listener, his perceptions of the artist, of what is currently being played or released by it. Then, the listener will filter it and judge by his senses – perhaps listen to it more times -, avail based not only in those senses, but his knowledge, consequently formulating his subjective opinion.

            When I was little, my father gave me a book called “The Art Spirit” by the late-painter Robert Henri and it was one of the things that helped to mold my view of what art might really be. We can be artists working as lawyers as much as Dave who claims to be experimenting in his room instead of watching his art classes at Yale. Art walks hand in hand with people. Painting fits like a glove with music, who fits with cinema, who fits with photography or the writing works of the novelists and poets. David Lynch’s directing approaches has been as influenced by his painting as the other way around; Captain Beefheart was an acclaimed painter during and after he gave up music; David Byrne has worked so much in other art mediums that is hard to point out what he really is; Patti Smith’s poetry paved her way to the release of Horses and her music paved it for the release of Just Kids. Henri gave lots of beautiful insights of the human mind and its creative and artistic tendencies. It’s just his subjective opinion, but I really took it to heart. It’s because of him that I believe that reading about art is as vital as watching, reading and listening to it. It’s also my foundation on his work that won’t allow me to ever not refer to DP or Best Coast or Animal Collective or Lana Del Rey or anything like that as artists. Because they are, even if their results are not always pleasant to me, even if they seem to be on different levels of abstraction and approach – one paints what he sees, it’s all about perception and, depending of the artist, how he wants to be perceived. You believe that other bands could not have issued such an album, I disagree and we’re all happily discussing Dirty Projector’s music, which, I believe, is one of the few things that an artist expects from its audience to do. We can enhance each other views, giving insights of how we feel, and how we perceive something without the need of converting anyone’s opinion. It’s been a great discussion. It’s all subjectivity: it’s okay if they are experimental music to other people, it’s okay if we have conflicting views of what makes an artist. Better than okay, feels great to speak about it.

          • Damn, your response might be the most insightful post that I’ve read on stereogum! I understand your point more clearly now. I should have taken the time to read and digest your other posts carefully before jumping to “defend” DP, but I am glad that it was a catalyst for your last writing. I don’t even want to discuss the Dirty Projectors or Animal Collective anymore after all of the different artists you brought up in your discussion. I am positive that your knowledge and analysis of the arts goes much further than mine and is of similar interests, so I actually would just like to ask for a few recommendations and opinions on music and film (just guessing by your name that you are probably pretty fond of the subject). If you have time, email me at (miscellaneous email account). If not, do you by any chance have a blog?

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  15. If you bump MPP in your car inbetween Foster the People and Mumford & Sons, but found all Animal Collective’s earlier albums “too weird ewwww,” this single is a kind reminder from the band to avoid Centipede Hz like the plague.

    • Okay, so disliking this song gives you away as a member of the insubstantial, P4k-following, braindead Merriweather Post Pavillion hype crowd?

      Seriously, though… Sung Tongs and Feels are probably my favourite records by the band. This song doesn’t impress me at all, however.

  16. Terrible for the sake of terrible? or do I just not get it?

  17. I had no idea Animal Collective were Rebbie Jackson fans…

  18. It sort of sounded like trying to listen to two good songs playing at the same time – there’s two much going on to like either of them. I’ll reserve judgment until, like, the album comes out. But only to hear the other songs. I don’t think the context of the entire album will really change this or any other AC song. They all tend to live in their own space. I don’t know, maybe it’ll grow on me.

  19. how about really really bad…jesus this album is gonna be bad…so bad ellsworth tooey would love it

  20. irritating for irritating’s sake. I like a lot of their catalog, but this song is just a pointless car alarm of garbage. Was really hoping the sacred pact that Pfork and AC have to alway suck each other’s dicks would be broken with this steaming turd, but I’m afraid it continues…..

  21. As Deakin said, meant to liked after a few listens. all you h8rs keep pressing play then spout your opinion

    • I’ve never quite understood why people are ok with an album only being liked after a number of listens. Yes, having deeper layers revealed after the tenth listen keeps you hooked, and all the best songs definitely do that, but they ALSO bring you in that first time too. Saying “you’ve just gotta listen to it ten times, and then you’ll start to like it” is like saying “the first couple times you get beat up it just hurts, but if you keep doing it you’ll eventually enjoy it”

  22. Not sure what bee is in Gum’s collective bonnets, but I liked it.

  23. I guess I really just don’t understand this band. I appreciate what they do, but to me it just sounds like a mess. MPP had a few songs I liked, but the majority of them just didn’t do anything for me. It might be that I’m kind of tired of the typical indie pop music out there. I like the electric influence today, but I really miss the sound of good old rock and roll. Thankfully artists like Jack White, Gaslight Anthem and Foxy Shazam are putting out solid albums.

  24. In my opinion, the song is cluttered with some cool sonic the hedgehog sounding stereophonic studio trickery…which is nice ear candy, but the whole effect is jarring…and I’m now finding it incredibly irritating. There is no melody in here really, no passages of beauty or repose. Just cool-ish sounding noise that goes heavy on repeat to the point it loses any novelty. No subtle dynamics or even something that stands out in the mix. Its fun, but I find it only fun 30 seconds at a time and I can justifiably say its not a great song…I can’t justifiably even say its a song. Maybe thats the point of Animal Collective….best new “music”from Pitchfork? hmmm…..What do they consider “music”?

    • “There is no melody in here really[...]”

      Of every live version that AC has played of this song, Avey Tare kept to the same melody (albeit with minor nuances from performance to performance). You might not consider the note-progressions to be particularly appealing or catchy but still, there’s definitely a melody.

      Like I said above, I’m holding out on listening to this studio version but the bootlegs give one the impression that this track follows the formula of their Strawberry Jam-era by emphasizing emotion & viscera rather than hooks. That isn’t to say that there’s aren’t hooks to be found in the song but they’re not as inspired or apparent as the material from the MPP-era. I love their new sound but I can’t help but worry about what casual listeners or even critics are going to think of the less pleasant songwriting of this upcoming record.

      • and in fairness, I am a casual listener. I was very impressed with a few of their popular songs off of MPP “Summertime Clothes” ect, and I really thought the oddness and irregularity of the music worked…but I’m not feeling that way about this tune at all. I feel its wild for wild’s sake and doesnt conjure up beauty, range or really much of anything that stands out. My opinion of course, but certainly quite a comedown from “Summertime Clothes” ( or summertime girls…i really am an extremely casual fan) and the rest of MPP.

        • Let me preface this post by saying that it shouldn’t be read as an attack against you. I am just trying to help. If you listen to the two releases before MPP (the EP, Water Curses, and the LP, Strawberry Jams) and the single/b-side after MPP (Honeycomb/Gotham which hinted heavily at this production direction) this track makes perfect sense. MPP is somewhat of an outlier album as Deakin (their primary guitarist) wasn’t present for the recordings. I agree that the mix of this song is a bit cluttered, but so are some of the songs from the releases that I’ve listed above.

          I am not a diehard fan but I enjoy their music, and I believe that they create songs for the album experience. Cherry-picking songs from albums (as is the way of the MP3 generation we live in now) doesn’t really do their work any justice. At the end, we even hear the transition from this track to the next. You may still not like this track/direction, but if you check out those releases I mentioned, this track should make more sense.

          • I agree with you. One thing I can admire is their bold risky and adventurousness with their music. That in itself is compelling. While I can’t promise the essence of their music, melodies and style appeal to me ( and that goes for many bands I don’t like the sound of but respect aetshteically, like Pixies, ect.) I always do my best to think outside the box and welcome whats being created out there that is fresh and compelling. Hoping to check out that earlier work(s) you mentioned and thanks for the tip.

  25. That really is a good question. I used to rely on pitchfork to find the “best new music”, but I found that the music they gave that stamp wasn’t really that great, or for the sake of being pretentious, not listener friendly (well in my opinion). Also, most of the reviews they have aren’t really reviews at all. They’re more of a demonstration of the reviewers writing skills. I think basing reviews off of a points system and not actually breaking the review down to tell the reader why it deserves the score is pretty pointless really. It makes it seem like a random number is picked out of the air. I’ve also noticed that the more hype an album has prior to its release will typically guarantee it at least an 8.0. (im looking at you Goblin….).

    Anyways I appreciate the way you review albums stereogum, not using a points system really lets the reader be able to form their own opinion about the album.

    • Pitchfork has a somewhat-new article feature called “Inbox” in which readers can ask musical questions and inquire about their opinions, etc. I had a similar question that I asked in terms of Liars’ albums a few months ago. Here is their explanation of Best New Music:

      Best New Music: Explained!

      How does Pitchfork’s Best New Music system work? I’ve read reviews where two albums get a score of say 8.2, but one is BNM and the other isn’t. –Aurora Nuncio

      “The truth of it is breathtakingly simple: Editors choose Best New Music albums based on the records that we think are the cream of the crop. These are excellent records that we feel transcend their scene and genre. When an album gets Best New Music, we think there’s a very good chance that someone who doesn’t generally follow this specific sphere of music will find a lot to enjoy in it.”

      So for some people, this method isn’t working, but it makes a bunch more sense when you think about it in context of a person who might have certain prejudices or just not be a fan of a certain genre/sub-genre (genres suck!). Also, they said that a few or many staff members (depending on the popularity of the release) will weigh in on an average score, and someone whose score fell close to that average will usually write the review. I am not a huge fan of their ability to review albums without saying much about the music, but it all made more sense to me when I find out the method to the madness that is Brent DiCrescenzo (through the inbox feature) and he clarified a nagging suspicion that I held about his writing. There are a bunch of personalities as Pitchfork (and any other publication for that matter) so, usually it is a misconception to think that everyone is an asshat because of that publication’s reputation. I don’t agree with all of their reviews and opinions, but through a little research, I have much more respect for the work they do and their intentions. Gotta d-ride a bit, though, Stereogum is the best.

      TL;DR – To the music critics: Even though we don’t always see eyee-to-eyeeeeeee, I respect youuuuu, and I keep you in my mind.

  26. I don’t know. I think it sounds pretty cool. A jarring first, second, third listen, sure, but I never (rarely) feel like AC does jarring for the sake of it. There’s definitely melody here — all you “is it even a song??”-folk gotta check yourselves.

    One thing I will say. My first listen was with shitty earbuds and a low-quality Youtube stream. A few hours later, I got to blast the track on my home rig. And it sounds killer. Maybe this is an album whose relentless makes most sense when it warps your speakers. Or live.

    In any case, my hopes are high.

  27. Wow this is really good- though I’m probably one of the few people who think Strawberry Jam (and even Feels, though not by as much) is better than MPP

  28. this song is killin’ it….glad to here anco back to the zany psychedelia of strawberry jam. i did enjoy mpp, but it veers on being too conventional….

  29. Jesus, I am the only one who liked this? I think the mistake some people make is that they try to ‘get’ Animal Collective music. I fee l it is best to let AnCo get you.

  30. Get some decent speakers or headphones – this is not music that works on laptop speakers… I believe that’s a mistake by the majority of AnCo haters (well not really haters but the I-just-don’t-understand-this people)

    • shouldn’t a song sound good no matter what it’s played on?

      • lol no.
        laptop speakers are just a terrible way to listen to music. especially music with any sort of subtleties (basically AC’s whole discography).

        thats like saying ‘shouldn’t a movie look good no matter what it’s played on?’
        of course not, imagine watching Tree of Life or Baraka (insert pretty movie here) on a B&W 4 inch tv instead of on some HD shit. whatever, you get the point!

  31. Does no one else hear Juiian Casablancas’ solo material here? Thats immediately what i thought of when i started listening. But i fucking love Julian Casablancas’ solo material so you know what my opinions of this song are.

  32. I… I like this. It’s catchy. It’s good. I like it.

  33. As someone who’s been left slightly frustrated and confused by much of AC’s musical aesthetic, I greatly appreciate that they’ve brought the vocals closer towards the front of the mix, rather than leaving them sounding too muddled and echo-like again. No, there’s not too much melody happening, but hell, the rest of the album can address that. Good stuff.

  34. I am just in it for the melody and this delivers. To me animal collective’s melodic mastery sits along side next to classic melodists like Paul McCartney. The lyrics to me have always been vague and serve more as an inkblot test, your interpretation tells you more about you than it does about the author and their intended meaning. But that’s just like my opinion man.

  35. theres a new SWANS album out there, guys. Lets all grow up and talk about that

  36. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  37. LOLZ at these long ass comments

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