Centipede Hz just became available for streaming, which means it’s time to break out your machetes and slather on the bug spray — we’ve got some exploring to do.
Animal Collective’s world can be a little crazy. There is screaming. There are monsters. Layers of electronic production saturate songs, flooding them with sounds, not all of which are tethered to the rhythm and melody they accompany. It’s a sonic rainforest as dense as any you’ll find, and there’s nothing quite like hacking your way through a new release.
The more you listen, the more the cacophony gains shape, the foreign starts to feel more familiar, and as the vegetation thins, nuggets of pure pop emerge — as unlikely as they might have seemed at a song’s outset. I’ve found that the journey it takes to find those nuggets make them all the more memorable and personal, and it’s these moments I have in mind when I evangelize on the band’s behalf.
Take “Today’s Supernatural,” the lead single from Centipede Hz. After making your way through an “erratic seesaw” setting that could double as the soundtrack to a small child’s (read: my) fear of clowns, you reach a clearing that offers relative calm and an earnest message of perseverance — “You find something you believe that you should do/Sometimes it won’t come so easy.” I love this line. It’s candor amid chaos. Warmth wrested from the wilderness.
In some ways, all you have to do is adjust your focus and look at the jungle as a whole instead of the individual trees, birds, bugs, and monkeys (as adorable as they may be). Beautiful pop music emerges, and I highly recommend you click here and join me on an expedition into the heart of Centipede Hz.