For fifteen years Animal Collective has been rewriting the musical map, their line-up and aesthetic shifting with each astonishing release as they continue their pursuit of a new psychedelia. Their wild path has taken them from cramped concrete basement shows and forest floor singalongs to immersive installations at the Guggenheim and performances to millions on national television. So where to from here?
Dizzyingly upbeat and gloriously realized, Painting With, the eleventh full length Animal Collective album, bounces and pops with an urgent, ecstatic energy, propelled by polyrhythmic beats and gurgling modular synth, with Noah Lennox and Dave Portner’s vocals gleefully falling in and out of syncopation and off-kilter harmony.
Working as a trio, Portner (Avey Tare), Lennox (Panda Bear) and Brian Weitz (Geologist) began trading demos in early 2015, pursuing a goal of what Portner calls “really short songs: no B.S, get in, get out material…” The three met in Asheville during that spring and began exploring the songs together. Recording took place in the legendary EastWest Studios in Hollywood, home to sessions by The Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye. The album features contributions from John Cale and Colin Stetson, and was engineered by Sonny DiPerri.
The result: Painting With. Warm and personal, kaleidoscopic and high definition, concerned with art (Cubism, Dadaism, and the distorted way those artists viewed the world) and the human experience, and the meeting of both - creating something elemental, joyous, and unmistakably Animal Collective.