Following up a pretty solid live album, and Panda Bear’s solo album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper and EP Crosswords from earlier this year, Baltimore-indigenous band…I mean, collective Animal Collective announced today that we can expect a new album from them in February.
With the band’s releases and studio albums falling increasingly into bland (Panda Bear) or sonically grating (previous studio LP Centipede Hz from 2012) territory, it’s hard to not be skeptical about a new Animal Collective project. The official announcement today came as no surprise, since some version of the album was apparently on loop in the Baltimore Airport on Wednesday. Yes, that’s the biggest travel day of the year — very savvy stuff, my dudes.
The name of the record — Painting With. Like Painting With Animal Collective. Now, to wait for the inevitable interview where Geologist tells us how important Bob Ross clips were for them when “coming up with the textures” for this album.
If I’m being unnecessarily dismissive (I am), it’s just because I used to love this band more than anything.
While the single they loosed today, “FloriDada,” is not the most exciting thing in the world — certainly, they’re not playing against type — it marks a return to the crisper production, starker arrangements and playful, motormouth verses that characterized their best album, 2007’s Strawberry Jam. This is definitely a good thing, especially if you found the hazy, trebly distortion of Centipede Hz impossible to get through in a sitting.
There is definitely something irritating about the title “FloriDada,” though, which reads like a nonsense word concocted during some college savage’s end-of-semester shroom trip. Singer and songwriter Dave Portner, aka Avey Tare’s clarification is easy to hate, too: “TheRecordisnotcalledFloridada! ThatsASong!ItsAlsoanIdea!!anIdeal!butitisontherecord!!fortherecord.” Come on, dude — how old are we now? You think your 30+ core fan base is really into these kind of antics?
Nonetheless — though I certainly don’t trust these fellas as much as I used to — a torch burns in my window for AnCo to deliver an inventive, humor-filled and sporadically catchy group of songs.