Animal Collective new EP “The Painters”

Almost a year after the release of their last album Painting With, Animal Collective returns with an accompanying EP. Appropriately titled The Painters, it continues in the sounds of Painting With of fast-paced, dizzying psychedelic pop.

Opening track title “Kinda Bonkers” accurately reflects the general state of the music with the array of odd samples and lyrics present. It kicks the EP off with a catchy and fun tune, and a classic display of the band’s upbeat positivity in the chorus “Don’t you feel me, feel your heart shine?/Unity of all kind, unity of all kind.”

“Peacemaker” briefly slows the pace as one of the slower songs from this era, featuring the alternating vocal technique found on many songs from Painting With. Although probably the weakest of the EP’s tracks, it provides a refreshing contrast with the rest of the release with it’s more relaxing and atmospheric approach. “Goalkeeper,” meanwhile, stands out as one of the catchiest songs present despite seeming to jump all over the place at breackneck speed. Closer “Jimmy Mack” ends the EP on a very strong note. Originally a hit for Martha and the Vandellas back in the 60s, the band has perfectly adapted it to their more psychedelic style and made it their own with an impassioned performance from Avey Tare. 

Overall The Painters makes for a solid continuation of their sound from the preceding album, with it’s colorful and energetic sound. Singers Avey Tare and Panda Bear both give engaging vocal performances with their trade-offs and harmonizing. Although their spot on the EP may lead some to dismiss these songs as rejects, they easily stand up against many of the songs from the album.

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-Noah Prince