Animal Collective- Fall To Be Kind
The release of Merriweather Post Pavillion saw Animal Collective go from four-star underground experimentalists to critically-acclaimed musical geniuses. In this success they built up our optimism leaving the expectancy of any follow-up hanging on high hopes with anticipation.
While Fall to Be Kind is only an EP, the five tracks that it houses hold a multitude of secrets. Opening tune ‘Graze’ could be the most optimistic, upbeat song that Animal Collective has ever created. Its jingles are evocative of the sound a kaleidoscope may make while spewing its beaded guts on to the ground. When Avery Tare’s sweet singing commences, a pan flute plays without even a slice of irony.
The secret to the following song, ‘What Would I Want? Sky’ is in its sample of ‘Unbroken Chain’ by Grateful Dead. The new found respect Animal Collective has received is seen in this rare sound with this being the first song to have officially cleared a sample from Grateful Dead in history. However, this stunningly experimental track remains soulful and truly their own with a sound like no other.
‘Bleed’ seems like a bridge between light and dark. Its hazy lo-fi ambience shows a change in tone from the first two jovial, harmonious tracks, preparing you for the darker tones to come. Although it has no obvious direction, it could hardly be labeled as filler.
It’s a rare treat for Tare to allow us a speck of insight into his life; the band eludes an airy, mystical resonance which only heightens the esoteric sounds they create. Yet in ‘On a Highway’ Tare goes as far as to reference another member of the band directly in his ode to lonely tour days: “On a Highway, Sick of too much reading, Jealous of Noah's dreaming. Can't help my brain from thinking.” The dirty background sits hand in hand with images from a dusty open road and an estranged, homeless heart.
The seven-minute spectacular ‘I Think I Can’ has an oscillating layer of voices trapped by the synth leaving you with a sense of discomfort only exorcised after a repeat of Graze.
Merriweather Post Pavillion was groundbreaking and aided the army of Animal Collectives cult following. Yet the Fall to Be Kind EP was not made as a rival to its predecessor, but rather an outlet for all those experimentations that didn’t make the final cut.
with love, Aimée Albans