Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind [EP]


1. Not a single bad track, which leads me to think that Fall Be Kind might be the best EP of 2009. No, not even 7-minute closer “I Think I Can” which ends with that repeated mantra, and you know what? I quite like The Little Engine That Could.

2. Some of these tracks are actually better than the worst tracks from Merriweather Post Pavilion, but it’s easy to see why they were left out. On each of these tracks, the band focuses (mostly) on creating atmosphere, rather than the absolute pop euphoria that dominated the best moments of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

3. “Graze,” for example, builds with Avey Tare singing repeated “Let me begin” and “Let light in” over swelling synthesized strings and later, a subtle keyboard backdrop which sound like he’s centerstage on a musical about to sing “Nature Boy.” That is, until the 2:58 mark, when the sounds that had built themselves up over the previous 3 minutes are completely abandoned and a lonely percussion taps out a gradually building rhythm that becomes a joyful, carnival-esque thing, similar to how “In the Flowers” metamorphosed. It calms down in its final moments to lead us straight into

4. “What Would I Want? Sky,” which is easily the best track on the EP. It’s certainly more immediate than “Graze” or the tracks that follow because of the thumping percussion and the oscillating “Oh”‘s that sound like underwater. As the track progresses, the band’s ability to use harmonies to full effect are seen – the best example on the entire EP by a long mile. And the repeated question, “What would I want?” answered by “Sky” immediately after without hesitation makes no sense, but at the end of the song, the only thing you’ll want is sky too.

5. That awful voice that opens “Bleed” in its first 40 seconds predates A$AP Rocky by two years.


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