Oh to be an Animal Collective fan and have this constant stream of music coming at you. Here's the latest solo release from their Avey Tare which is produced by another one from the collective Deakin and is self-described as an electro-acoustic movement through leaves rock and dust made in sunlight LA bedrooms.
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The front cover for this new Avey Tare is a good sign. A swirling, psychedelic labyrinth of seemingly inane shapes, it’s only today I’ve realised that there’s actually more to it -- a painting of plants and a hint of the sky at night. A pastoral scene shot through a sizeable contribution of weird? It fits ‘Eucalyptus’ perfectly.
Avey Tare has made music this folksy a few times before, but largely back in the days of a quainter and more economical Animal Collective -- in a way, this record feels like his sequel to both ‘Sung Tongs’, the band’s acoustic watermark, along with the backwards playing ‘Pullhair Rubeye’, made in conjunction with then wife Kria Brekkan. When Tare writes songs these barebone, they tend to languish, meandering through decadent strums with the odd psychedelic supplement: the opening two tracks, “Season High” and “Melody Unfair”, are glorious dozers, contemplating and lamenting at yawning speeds.
When he made these kind of records with Panda Bear, on the other hand, he could be frenzied and actioned: there are moments on this record that reflect that antsy AnCo approach, where friends yelling over nylon strings was the definition of music. “Ms. Secret” is the best -- a twanging, yearning song with racing strums and groaning double bass, it keeps the late night atmospheres in place while drastically altering the record’s course. He does it rarely through this record’s lazy hum, but it never puts him off balance.
He’s described it as “an electroacoustic movement through leaves, rocks and dust”, but Tare’s experimental language is restricted on this record. He uses swirling sounds and bizarre samples as mere signposts on what seem to be his most fleshed out set of songs in a while -- long lines of lyrical thought, detailed picking patterns and an actual rotating cast of melodies (we’re still a little bitter about ‘Painting With’). It’s just so nice to hear that he can still make a song as good as “In Pieces” -- it’s so nice that this record reminds me of some of his best moments while sounding wholly new. The word is it was produced by Deakin? Once again he saves the day.
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- Eucalyptus by Avey Tare
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