Released: May 2012
Label: Domino Records
Since the release of the outstanding Merriweather Post Pavilion way back in 2009, Animal Collective released a couple songs and EPs sporadically, with some solo projects formed too. Panda Bear’s Tomboy was a big success with most people who checked it out, and it received pretty high spots on their best of 2011 lists too. It didn’t come across to well with me however, it sounded a little synthetic for me, as if not enough elements were added to the mix to beef it out a bit, though I could see why so many people were favourable to it.
Now Animal Collective returns with two new tracks, Honeycomb and Gotham. Both feature the Beach Boys sounds Panda Bear was trying to ultilise, but the production is lot better here. Honeycomb is quite possibly the sunniest song this year, with its infectious percussion/samples, and Battles’ Ice Cream-styled vocal delivery. It’s a spaced out, crazy listen at first, but quickly the listener should let their guard down and begin to just enjoy the fun that erupts from it. It’s wonderful.
Gotham however is more of a grower rather than an instant hit. It’s slow paced tempo, complete with dragged out vocals and progressive drums stops any motion from going somewhere. There are some pauses included as well that seemingly come at the wrong time, making this is a real hard listen at first.
However, the listener should begin to appreciate the atmosphere with a couple more listens. Gotham suddenly becomes a very spacious, open soundscape where everything happens all around the listener, and they have to look for it rather than have it right in front of them. It’s certainly an interesting listen at least, and I hope it ends up on Animal Collective’s next album, should they decide to release one soon (plz do).