Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind (Domino) 23/11/2009

December 14, 2009 by  

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Merriweather Post Pavillion was lavished with so much praise it was hard to see beyond it’s glacial magnificence and envisage a follow-up that could match its achievements. Yet, not even twelve months on, the Baltimore come New York inhabitants are releasing a early Christmas present in the shape of their new EP, Fall To Be Kind, released digitally in November and physically in December.

The new EP picks up where MPP left off, but is a more unrestrained effort. Not quite as direct and, as some suggested, commercial as Merriweather Post Pavillion, Fall To be Kind continues the collectives explorations through sound and harmonies in yet more beguiling ways.

The two part opener “ Graze” is an ethereal mix of dream pop harmonies and sweeping pianos, which, without notice, descend into a scene from The Magic Roundabout, complete with chirping flutes and pan pipes, all that’s needed is Doogle and Co. mincing around in the background to make the scene complete.

Yet, this itself is possibly the most lucid effort on the record. The rest of the EP flits between panoramic backdrops and dark industrial beats, switching moods in the process. “What Would I want. Sky?” Does away with the playfulness of “Graze” and uses a bed of icily crisp trip-hop to lay yet more obscenely well crafted harmonies, and yet again switches the tone of the song. This time to an strangely uplifting, yet ambiguous lyrical narrative, which even the most devoted fans are yet to decipher.

Fall Be Kind sees Animal Collective reassuringly exploring new ground and pushing the limits of their creativity even further, while still holding onto the songs’ aesthetic. How much further this band can continue progressing is yet to be seen, but with two of the best releases of the year, Animal Collective look like they’ll be the band dragging music into the next decade.

By Chris Cummins

[rating:4.5]


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