First Listen: Animal Collective’s New Album “Painting With” and Tour Kicks Off at  Union Transfer 2/19

Experimental indie legends Animal Collective are coming to Union Transfer next Friday, February 19th.

Prior to the release of their forthcoming “Painting With” (due out Feb 19), was Centipede Hz, a somewhat jittery and electronic collection of songs that was a departure from the band’s slower and more contemplative work from the early and mid-2000s.

Animal Collective writes music that flows between various patterns of rhythms and organic samples. Clustered textures of synthesizers, guitars, drums, and samples are collaged together into their songs. The band’s sense of melody is impressive, as they’ve continually created unique and accessible songs despite their extremely experimental style. Perhaps one of the best examples of their catchy accessibility would be “Fireworks,”  from 2007’s Strawberry Jam.

At the root of the band’s production quality is their eccentric collaboration style. The four members (Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deakin) each bring a unique flair to the table. This often results in unconventional song structures and peculiar harmonies. At their best, they elicit strong feelings of nostalgia and emotion. Three of them have found success in solo careers in addition to writing music for the band.

They reflected on their long and dynamic career as Animal Collective in a recent Pitchfork interview.

The band has already shared the video for one of the new tracks, “FloriDada.” Be warned, the video is highly stimulating. The song is filled with a high amount of electronic energy, feeling almost crowded at times but moving at just the right pace to make everything fit. The band’s style of putting together multiple parts into a cohesive, dynamic concept is perhaps what makes Animal Collective’s music so unique.

State of Philly was lucky enough to get an early glimpse at “Painting With.” The album features 12 new songs, giving fans a good idea of the direction the band is taking.


  1.  FloriDada – 4:06
  2. Hocus Pocus – 3:17
  3. Vertical – 4:15
  4. Lying in the Grass – 3:34
  5. The Bugulars – 2:44
  6. Natural Selection – 2:42
  7. Bagel in Kiev – 2:48
  8. On Delay – 3:49
  9. Spilling Guts – 1:58
  10. Summing the Wretch – 3:09
  11. Golden Gal – 4:42
  12. Recycling – 4:07

Our Rating: 9.2 out 10

FloriDada kicks off the album at a pretty uptempo pace, foreshadowing the high amount of energy that the rest of the album contains.

The next two songs, “Hocus Pocus” and “Vertical” both keep a heavy thudding electronic kick as their rhythmic backbone. The verses of these songs are pretty busy and the overall texture is layered with a lot of different sampled sounds and vocal parts.


Album Art

After a few listens, you get used to the texture and it’s easy to sense the band’s charm, gliding through complex arrangements with catchy melodies and sounds.

Most of the album remains in this textural trance, stretching the limits of their electronic sounds with each song.

Two of my favorites, though, were from the latter half of the album. “Spilling Guts” has a steady pace, but barely runs two minutes and never gets too crowded despite the heavily layered vocals.

Two songs later, “Golden Gal” kicks off with a sample that mentions “she’s upset because they keep changing the taste of Coke,” and travels at a relatively neutral tempo. This feels slow for the album, but it’s by far the most reminiscent of their earlier work.

Avey Tare’s drastic and catchy vocal melody carries the song through the story of this “Golden Gal.” The song has a very easy-going feel compared to the rest of the album, and it reaches a very summery vibe with the high harmonies in the chorus and end of the song. If you’re like me you’ll be playing this one on repeat for a while.

This will be Animal Collective’s inaugural show of their tour as well as the release date of their highly anticipated album “Painting With”. So fans can expect nothing short of a high energy show at Union Transfer next Friday. Animal Collective’s last performance in Philly that wasn’t a DJ set was back in October of 2013. My prediction from what I took away from their new album is found in their performances. Expect Animal Collective to provide the audience with an experience that simulates the senses and mind, that is not to be missed.


Album Art

Editors Pick : FloriDada , Lying in The Grass, Natural Selection, and Golden Gal

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