Found via KEXP’s Blog, Animal Collective has released two tracks off their unreleased album, Strawberry Jam, as found at Obscure Sound. I don’t know if it’s a limited track release, or if they’ll be available as sample downloads for the duration, so I’d suggest grabbing them while you can. The two newly released songs are “Peacebone” and “Unsolved Mysteries”: I’ll be covering the latter, as I found it spoke to me more — your mileage may vary, so check them both out (links at the bottom as usual).
“Unsolved Mysteries” is absolutely an Animal Collective sound: there are multiple layers going on at once, while the song maintains a churning rhythmic cadence throughout. In particular, the guitar that opens the song acts almost like a railroad track: it pulses in a way that immediately put an image in my mind of a train barreling through the countryside. On top of this is a mixture of synthetic and traditional instruments, creating a symphonic cacophony, a style that the band has used to great effect in the past, and continues to explore with gusto. Lyrically, you catch snippets, but as they are often known for, the words function primarily as a lingual augmentation of the song, rather than vice versa: I’ve tried to pick out the lyrics, and as the other layers start coming together, it becomes difficult to do so: I don’t mind, though. It seems fitting that as the song builds to crescendo, the words matter less.
There’s a vague pop sensibility going on to this song (and “Peacebone”), though I’d hardly say they’ve sold out. If I were going to compare it to other work, I’d be inclined to say it’s more reminiscent of Feels than it is Sung Tongs. (It says something that I’m hard pressed to come up with songs or albums from OTHER bands to compare to.) If you’ve liked Animal Collective’s other work, in particular from Feels, I think you will be well pleased with their new work.
[Animal Collective on MySpace (With Tour Dates!)]