Baltimore-based psych-folk/noise rock/ambient-pop/avant garde band Aminal Collective is hard to place into one genre. Formed in 2000, Animal Collective has become one of the most universally loved "indie bands" of the modern era. Starting with 2000's "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Van... More
Baltimore-based psych-folk/noise rock/ambient-pop/avant garde band Aminal Collective is hard to place into one genre. Formed in 2000, Animal Collective has become one of the most universally loved "indie bands" of the modern era. Starting with 2000's "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished", and 2003's "Campfire Songs", the Collective's output was written, performed, and released under the name of Avey Tare (David Portner) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox). Later in 2003 the group adopted the moniker of Animal Collective full time and released "Here Comes the Indian", which debuted new members Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz).
In the year 2004 Animal Collective gained a much wider fanbase as a result of the success of "Sung Tongs", one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. On tour in Scotland, the band was introduced to "freak-folk" hero Vashti Bunyan, whom they would invite to sing lead vocals on some of their tracks that were left off of 'Tongs. The resulting "Prospect Hummer EP" introduced a new generation to Bunyan, and helped to bring her out of a 30-year recording hiatus.
2005 saw the release of another immensely popular album for the band. "Feels" had universal praise from music press, and was ranked among Amazon's Top Editor Picks of the year. The band's experimentation with different tunings and harmonies was continued and expanded upon in their next release. Stawberry Jam saw a revitalized focus on vocals, especially on complicated vocal harmonies. Panda Bear also released his second solo album, "Person Pitch" this year. 'Pitch was named Pitchfork's Album of the Year, and the dreamy Beach-Boys vocal stylings gained a more prominent role in their proceeding work.
Their next album, "Merriweather Post Pavilion" was anticipated with an immense amount of hype. Released on January 20th, nearly every music publication has given it a rave review; and many have gone as far to mark it as the album of the year (with 345 days of 2009 to go). Even Entertainment Weekly gave the record a glowing review; critic Leah Greenblatt described album opener In The Flowers as "a stunning postmodern frolic of shimmering synths, reverb-soaked vocals, and thump-and-tumble percussion." Animal Collective is heading out on tour in support of Pavilion, including a stop in Boston at the House of Blues on May 14th. Sign up now to be notified as soon as Animal Collective tickets are available!
Photo by Flickr user Zawezome