Accessibility is a consistent wild card when the topic at hand is Animal Collective. With their latest EP, Fall Be Kind, we’re treated with five surreal, cohesive songs much more accessible than their early work and consistent with the more recent path Animal Collective has taken. These songs lack the abrasiveness of the band’s prior releases, packed with dreamy landscapes of sound both hypnotic and mesmerizing. It is, at the most rudimentary of levels, melodic.
Fall Be Kind is missing the shrieks and screams and instrumental dissonance found in those earlier albums, yet the tribal elements remain in instrumentation. You can hear it in the midway flute breakdown in “Graze”, the heavy thumping bass and drums in “What Would I Want? Sky”, and the electronic backing fronted by hand claps on closing track “I Think I Can”. From the onset, the vocals slide between AC’s signature hypnotic styling and one intelligible, which is quite unlike the band. Still, everything flows.
This is quite possibly Animal Collective’s most accessible work yet. Fall Be Kind portrays a fresh, new Animal Collective – one that maintains its eclectic signature roots, all the while growing and progressing in exciting, imaginative ways. Where other albums have had one off gems stemming from early on, Animal Collective has more recently demonstrated in Water Curses, Meriweather Post Pavillion, and now here, that they have the ability to put together albums and EPs that are very much a cohesive unit, solid and catchy to no end.
Animal Collective: What Would I Want? Sky (Stream)
Domino Records [CDEP, 2009]
2. What Would I Want? Sky
4. On A Highway
5. I Think I Can