The Painters EP
Animal Collective have always been able to be pleasantly weird and make great music while not taking themselves too seriously. If you put these gentlemen in the water they’ll probably turn blue. Throw them in a room full of reptiles and they’ll become cold-blooded. Saying this Baltimore foursome are shape-shifters is an understatement. More like, with each record they are a completely new band. The follow up to 2016’s Painting With is no different. As fans know, the band tends to release a semi-relatable EP after each full-length. The four song EP is a dazed and woozy, yet energetic work. It is brushed with synthetic layers, embellished with fuzzy buzzes and cracks, and is ripe with intentional turbulence.
The opener “Kinda Bonkers” begins with a simple tribal-like chant. The hand percussion sets a building drum circle vibe. The vocal layers seem to endlessly stack upon one another and the staccato bass line provides a subtle wobble. The song fades into “Peacemaker,” which feels wide and far away. Production bounces the vocal lines around like they’re being shot through a glass pyramid and reflecting all over. Like some of their recent work, The Painters, evokes a sort of primitive state that meets new wave synthesizers and modern electronic production.
The EP can be delirious and downright confusing — in the best way. It’s manic closer is a cover of the Motown classic, “Jimmy Mack,” but you’d never know if it wasn’t for the song’s notable title. These veterans of pop experimentation have created another EP that is definitely enjoyable. It doesn’t necessarily push Animal Collective’s boundaries or do something that has never been done before. It does however, provide a great iteration of what they do best and the reason their fanbase is so strong and die hard. As per usual, the songs evoke a stylistic color and creativity and do so in a sprightly and spirited manner that we love about this band.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – THE PAINTERS EP