Animal Collective have announced a new album. What does this mean for you? And why?July 9, 2018
Alex Epstein, Reporter-At-Large
The Animal Collective are a pop band from Baltimore, Missouri. Their new album is called Tangerine Reef and it’s coming out real soon – so soon, in fact, that it’ll be out some time in August. But who are these four plucky chaps? And what do tangerines have to do with reefs? All your questions will soon be answered.
The Animal Collective is a musical project originally conceived by two convicted felons who met at a probationary hearing. The original members, Panda Bear and Avey Tare (their legal names), decided that playing free shows for at-risk youth was an excellent way to fulfil their community service requirements. Their debut album Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished was released as an abrasive cautionary message to teenagers that “drugs aren’t fun”.
Soon afterwards, Tare & Bear discovered future members Alfred Deakin and Brian Weitz (also known as “Geologist”, after his PhD field) busking on the Baltimore subway. Penniless and destitute, Deakin and Geologist accepted Tare’s offer to “crash” at his “pad” that night, and the group’s second album Danse Manatee was recorded entirely that very evening. If you listen closely to the title track (FLAC only), you can actually hear a sample of Deakin snoring.
After making some fast cash from The Producers-style money laundering schemes (Campfire Songs, Here Comes The Indian), the group decided to purchase actual instruments to record Sung Tongs, generally considered their critical breakout record, receiving a lofty 8.9 from Pitchfork, who dubbed it “feral”. The group attracted some mainstream attention after “Winter’s Love” was featured on a 2012 episode of Family Guy.
But the group didn’t really hit the big time until Deakin’s motorcycle accident and subsequent indefinite coma, which came as a “pleasant surprise” to the other three members. The three set about recording Feels, Strawberry Jam, and Merriweather Post Pavilion, their best albums to date, and dedicated all three to Deakin’s girlfriend at the time, Vashti Bunyan. After Merriweather Post Pavilion received a 10 from Pitchfork, Bunyan married the three other members in a polyamorous Reiki ceremony.
The critical and commercial success of Merriweather Post Pavilion was sufficient to wake Deakin from his artificially-induced coma, and he quickly guilted the other three members into letting him record Centipede Hz. Many have speculated that during this album’s composition and recording, Deakin was still under the influence of extremely powerful sedatives.
The Animal Collective’s most recent album, Floridada, was conceived as a tribute album to the state of Florida, in the vein of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois and The Mountain Goats’ All Hail West Texas. The album was critically panned for its crude electronic remix of John Denver’s country classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. In this infamous track, the words “West Virginia” were simply overdubbed by Panda Bear with the word “Floridada” and a synth bass track added to the mix, prompting Denver’s estate to successfully sue for the album’s entire proceeds.
So, we come to the present day, and Tangerine Reef, a double album that nobody expected or, frankly, asked for. Here at the Fodder Blog, we speculate that it will be about twenty tracks long, with less than five of them listenable. Pitchfork will give it a 6.6 and lament the “end of the AnCo era”. Deakin may go into another coma.
But whether or not the new album is any good, there’s one thing for sure – these four young lads are certainly a band.
This article is a joke.