One year after the release of 2016’s ‘Painting With’, Animal Collective returns with a new quick four-song EP to accompany last year’s vibrant jambalaya of a record. With every new AnCo record, a fellow EP of unreleased B-sides must follow. I’m not complaining however, even with being a little dissatisfied with ‘Painting With.’ After I heard the first song off the EP, (‘Kinda Bonkers’) I was hooked.
You know, its just AnCo doing their thing on this track. The multi-structured spacey drums mixed with layered harmonic vocals from Avery and Noah Lennox were complemented on this track. The spacey loopy synthesizers plus the tribal-like drums bounce off Avery and Noah’s vocals almost like they’re finishing each other’s sentences. The samples conjured are skewed and distorted as the lyrics, “Don’t you feel me feel your heart shine/ unity of all kind.” This song is bombastic and the sitar-like synths polish a ‘Revolver’ like vibe from The Beatles.
The track ‘Peacemaker’ definitely sounded like a left over track from ‘Painting With’. The overuse of looping layered vocals resembles a Janga game being played by both Avery and Noah. The third track, ‘Goalkeeper’ is a poppy, clustered but not frail in execution. This song sounds like something that would’ve appeared off their 2009 hit record, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion.’ On the final track of the record, AnCo plays tribute to the Motown classic, ‘Jimmy Mack’ by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. Fused with the synthetic Animal Collective formula and powered by that classic spastic Motown groove. The drippy swampy keys complement Avery’s piercing voice. It’s sharp and unorthodox, as one would expect from an Animal Collective cover. The EP ends the same way it began, in a colorful kaleidoscopic ornamentation of wholesome romantics.
Furthermore the EP is clean. The production is great and polished despite the swampy take on it. The ‘painters’ increase their winning streak with their eleventh project to date. This experimental indie psych-rock diminutive is worthy of accompanying EPs such as ‘Water Curses’, and ‘Fall Be Kind’ on the AnCo wall of fame. Above all else my sole question remains…where was this on ‘Painting With’?