If you’ve read any music magazine/blog/website in the last month, you’ve probably come across the name Animal Collective and their monumentally hyped new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Critics and bloggers alike have been falling over themselves in praise for the album. It’s already being hailed as one of the best albums of the century and I’ve seen it compared to everything from Kid A to Pet Sounds to Revolver. With something this overwhelming, it’s a bit hard to know where to start with this album, but lucky for you, Animal Collective have chosen a near-perfect single to thrust you into the world of the band. “My Girls” acts like a gateway drug into this seriously addicting LP.
The song begins with a rush of electronic pulses and lush vocals from Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) and
gradually an array of percussive beats and swirling background vocals are layered within. The voices then unify for an enthralling chorus that skyrockets the song into an exuberant dance jam anthem accompanied by gleeful “Awhooo” chants and grandiose tribal drumming.
While much of the lyrics to Animal Collective’s music have been elusive or bordering on indecipherable, there is nothing cryptic when Noah sings “With a little girl, and by my spouse / I only want a proper house”. Later in the song he speaks about how they don’t care for fancy things and longs for a simple life with his family. This clearly is a band that you won’t find singing about scoring chicks and partying hard any time soon, but Animal Collective has never been interested in what others think is “cool”. Like the line in the song says, they just want four walls and adobe slabs for their girls.
The video perfectly translates the song’s bright, psychedelic sound into spacey, kaleidoscopic art. The band members appear as silhouettes against a feast of vibrant colors (iPod commercials are an obvious influence,) which actually makes something knob-turning look splashy and exciting. Animal Collective, you win at music.