Today Animal Collective announced Painting With, their new album which is set to arrive on 19 February. Painting With will be the group’s tenth studio release, and their fourteenth album in total including their three live records and the ODDSAC visual project. It will come as the follow-up to Centipede Hz, the group’s previous record, which was released in 2012. The tracklist reads:
2. Hocus Pocus
4. Lying In The Grass
5. The Burglars
6. Natural Selection
7. Bagels In Kiev
8. On Delay
9. Spilling Guts
10. Summing The Wretch
11. Golden Gal
For a group whose music sounds so organic and of the moment, Animal Collective have always offered detailed depictions of their creative processes, which have variously found them developing new material on tour; working separately and sharing demos via email, as became their practise following Panda Bear’s move to Lisbon in 2004; carefully selecting recording locations and pieces of kit; and returning to their hometown of Baltimore for an extended writing session, as they did for Centipede Hz. That album marked a return for Deakin, who for personal reasons sat out the extent of Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Deakin will be absent again this time around. The announcement made via Domino Records offers an outline of the new album’s identity and construction:
‘Dizzyingly upbeat and gloriously realized, the new album bounces and pops with an urgent, ecstatic energy, propelled by polyrhythmic beats and gurgling modular synth, with Noah Lennox and Dave Portner’s vocals gleefully falling in and out of syncopation and off-kilter harmony.
Working as a trio, Portner (Avey Tare), Lennox (Panda Bear) and Brian Weitz (Geologist) began trading demos in early 2015, pursuing a goal of what Portner calls “really short songs: no B.S, get in, get out material…” The three met in Asheville during that spring and began exploring the songs together. Recording took place in the legendary EastWest Studios in Hollywood, home to sessions by The Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye. The album features contributions from John Cale and Colin Stetson, and was engineered by Sonny DiPerri.
The result: Painting With. Warm and personal, kaleidoscopic and high definition, concerned with art (Cubism, Dadaism, and the distorted way those artists viewed the world) and the human experience, and the meeting of both – creating something elemental, joyous, and unmistakably Animal Collective.’
Elsewhere, the group have cited their desire to make their new record especially ‘punchy’, with Panda Bear stating:
‘There was this idea of wanting to do something with short songs, with a homogenous energy to the record. We talked a lot about the first Ramones record – not that we expected the music to sound like that, but we wanted to do something where the first song revs up the engine, and it kind of just cruises after that. We didn’t want to throw in some ethereal moment. We wanted to do something that blasted away the whole time.’
Painting With will be available in three different covers, each featuring a different Animal Collective contributor as painted by the artist and Gang Gang Dance member Brian DeGraw. A limited edition version of the record, exclusively available via the Animal Collective and Domino stores, will also boast ‘180 gram heavyweight vinyl, a zoetropic 12″ turntable slipmat that animates when activated in part with a strobe light, and a bonus 7” featuring two exclusive non-album tracks mailed at a later date’.
Last Wednesday Animal Collective gave their album its first public airing, on loop over the speakers in Baltimore-Washington International Airport. After a series of teasers posted via the group’s Instagram account culminated in the cryptic message ‘ItsintheAirifyoucanFindit’, the presence of the album was subsequently revealed by the comedian, and cousin of Avey Tare, Matt Baetz. Baetz quickly expanded on his message, noting that the record would play until 6 pm, and was best heard in bathrooms, pre-security observation areas, and the airport’s post-security lounge.
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Accompanying all of this album information, Animal Collective have also today released the record’s first single, the title track entitled ‘FloriDada’, with buzzing and squelching synths, clip-clopping percussion, and lapping vocals. Avey Tare explains:
‘It’s sort of inspired by hating on people from Florida. I was driving in L.A. and flipping through the radio dial and came across a morning radio show where they’re just talking all the time. They had a segment called, like, ‘Dumb Things People Are Doing In Florida.’ It kind of bothered me. Everybody—they kind of agree that Florida’s such a weird place, know what I mean? But in a way, that’s part of the charm of it.’
The announcement of Painting With comes after the release in September of Live at 9:30, Animal Collective’s third live record, drawn from a performance at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on 12 June 2013. And at the end of October, the lineup of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist shared ‘Michael, Remember’, a twenty-three minute improvised jam taken from the first Painting With practise session at the Drop of Sun Studios in Asheville, North Carolina in May.
‘Michael Remember’ is set to footage filmed at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. The footage was shot in July 2014 by Colin Foord, a marine biologist, and a collaborator with the musician Jared McKay in Coral Morphologic, a scientific art endeavour which seeks to explore the visual potential of coral reefs. Foord was assisted with the camera work and lighting by Geologist and Deakin, and the film was edited together with the audio by McKay.