The world is such a different place in 2009. What I mean is that it’s hard even to imagine that there was a time before Merriweather Post Pavilion. Back in the dark days all we could do was check Animal Collective’s homepage and try and make sense of their bits of video weirdness, because that’s a thing that bloggers do. These included montages of fishes and tracklists that looked like they were filmed underwater. Even now, the homepage features a wacky catfish. All of this probably relates to what the band recently told the NY Times about the album:
“We had this idea of it being, like, a lagoon,” Mr. Weitz said in a restaurant in this upstate New York town, where the band was working on a collaborative project with the filmmaker Danny Perez. “And there’s this concert, and we’re playing underwater in the Merriweather Post Pavilion of that lagoon,” referring to an amphitheater in Columbia, a Baltimore suburb.
Mr. Lennox added: “Not deep water, though. Shallow water. Submerged. Like a coral reef.” Mr. Weitz and Mr. Portner nodded sheepishly.
Aha. That explains a lot! (That does not explain a lot.) At the very least though, the first half of the video for “My Girls” has an attending coral-reef-lagoon-pavilion vibe: Panda, Avey, and Geologist are set off as Apple ad silhouettes (but with great teeth) against sea greens and later coral reds, bubbles bubbling, etc., until they become monsters and drip away. Even though their instruments and soundboards appear true to form throughout, you’re obviously drawn to the three bodies bobbing and singing. Which is sorta fitting given the band’s trajectory: despite lurking in the shadows and trying to keep the focus on their music, you can’t deny there’s a growing cult of personality around each of these guys.