animal collective fall be kind ep
  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2009

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Animal Collective creates music with specific seasons and moods in mind. "Summertime Clothes" off of 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion is what comes to mind first (that song has a special place in my heart after surviving my first Brooklyn summer sans AC). Fall Be Kind marks the shift from the dance-outdoors-in-your-bare-feet tunes of Merriweather to something more calming and orchestral. Appropriately, the title Fall Be Kind is a play on when we "fall behind," and move are clocks back in September. As with most EPs, Animal Collective culled a majority of the material from Fall Be Kind from tracks that didn't make it onto Merriweather because they weren't quite finished, or just didn't quite seem to fit with the rest of the album. "I Think I Can" and "Graze" are two of these songs that would not quite match with Merriweather's upbeat summer vibe. While all five of these songs are not necessarily darker, they are washed-out in sepia tones missing from the bright tunes from earlier this year.

The first song "Graze" aptly begins with Avey Tare singing "Let me begin. . ." over shimmering Sigur Ros-inflected orchestrations. Around the three-minute mark, these vocals ease into upbeat foot-stomping followed by a layer of wooden whistle ornamentation that brings to mind the quaint Swiss mountain village music played while waiting in line for Disneyland's Matterhorn roller coaster. It could easily be interpreted as two separate songs because each half has such varied motifs, but they work well together.

"What Would I Want? Sky," the EP's second song, has garnered buzz for including the first-ever licensed Grateful Dead sample. Once again, around the three-minute mark, there is a marked change in the song. Slow and lilting vocals tumble down over each other in a soothing prelude to a buoyant section with the Dead sample, which comes from a two-second clip from the song "Unbroken Chain" off of the 1974 album Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel.

"Bleed" brings the tempo back down to a more ruminant pace, to round out the EP with the stuck-on-a-tour-bus song "On A Highway," and closer "I Think I Can". While Animal Collective doesn't really break any new ground with this EP, it is a 28-minute long reminder of just how good they are. (Like you could ever forget?)

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