Animal Collective - Sung Tongs

Acoustic-post-modernism is undergoing something of a renaissance in the twenty-first century. Musicians are appreciating the notion that organic, analogue equipment can sound just as interesting when decontextualised as anything produced by the electric category. The Shins gave us a hefty dose of acoustic wizardry with Chutes Too Narrow and Savath & Savalas gave us a splendid offering of apocalyptic-Catalonian chill with Apropa't. Taken further, múm mastered their welcome new album Summer Make Good solely using analogue equipment. Is technological regression the key to critical appraisal?

Animal Collective's new album Sung Tongs certainly aims to be different. The twelve songs on offer would have been standard acoustic pop in the same style as Alfie or I Am Kloot had the Collective deliberately ripped apart the structures of these songs and then pieced them back-together using different blue-prints. Amazingly, this process creates a far more accessible sound than you would at first imagine. On first listen, the chaotic deconstruction of the work featured on Sung Tongs can be quite disconcerting, but soon you find yourself lulled in by the unique ambiance on offer. The album title, surely a play on words with Tongue Songs, is comically reflected in opening track Leaf House, which somehow sounds musically in tune despite the vocals sounding as if the microphones are buried deep within the throat. Who Could Win A Rabbit sounds like the Brooklyn band doing their best to emulate a Hari Krishna mantra combined with a village jamboree.

It's tracks such as the standout The Softest Voice in which Animal Collective truly demonstrate their ability to flirt with musical maturity if they feel like it. Containing a golden, pristine acoustic instrumentation complete with plush scales, along with a slow melodical breakdown towards the end, it could be the track that stands to trademark the band. Trademark in the sense of being the perfect soundtrack to a nightmare set in glorious sunsets with birds singing in the trees, making no sense but managing to linger in the brain days after. Fronted by the prolific members Panda Bear and Avey Tare, final track Whaddit I Done shows the bizarre, ever-changing lineup manage to retain a sense of humour throughout each of the tracks, and considering this is the third album-worth of material the Collective have released, you can rest assured that Sung Tongs is a peak in their musical achievements, if you can call it that. Still, give it a listen, you'll find it hard to compare it to anything else.




To view some live footage of Animal Collective, click here

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 15/05/2018 08:42:13

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