BBC Home

Explore the BBC

29th July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

features /  music feature
editor content by: editor
animal collective session
animal collective session
watch animal collective live at la scala, london
watch animal collective interview
listen to FULL track
real player to access audio and video on collective you need real player.
Love is all around.

They’re just so well-adjusted. By rights, Animal Collective should have an identity crisis. Notwithstanding the fact that each member has an alias (Brian “Geologist”, Dave “Avey Tare”, Josh “Deakin”, and Noah “Panda Bear”), any release is the travails of one to four members, depending on who’s around. The electro-acoustic nursery rhymes on 2004’s acclaimed Sung Tongs were spun by Avey Tare and Panda Bear, while Feels sees all four members reuniting for an amplified, larger sound. It also sees them move away from that much-abused genre, “folk” - currently shorthand for anything other than heavy metal and techno. But then people have always had a problem pigeonholing them.

“Who’s into us?” asks Josh/Deakin. “Kids, grown-ups, people who do drugs, people who don’t do drugs. If you just say words like ‘tribal’, ‘hallucinogenic’, ‘psychedelic’ or ‘folk’ it can be really vague. We’re influenced by a lot of words behind those words.” Brian/Geologist nails it: “Those words are more definitive for the people that use them, than they are for us.”

They remain resolutely unfazed. In fact, Dave/Avey Tare calls Feels their “love” record. “It’s a warm time. Some of us got married, some of us are in pretty intense relationships, the ups and downs…” Earlier this year, the ‘Collective let another soul join their ranks, the reclusive British folk singer Vashti Bunyan.

The band had long been admirers of her 1970 album, Just Another Diamond Day, and a dinner in Edinburgh resulted in the Prospect Hummer EP. Dave: “It all seemed to magically come together for three days. We had some songs we didn’t record on Sung Tongs that we were really into. We didn’t know what to expect - at the time she was still a little unsure about her place in the music world. We wanted to sing on the record, but her voice is just so amazing, we left it as that.

For the first year of recording Feels, Brian/Geologist was moonlighting - advising the US government on Oceanic Environmental Policy. “I was working for the Democrats who were really cool about letting me go on tour because my grant was being paid by the Bush administration. But once the grant ran out I figured, I’ll just do the music.” So how does playing in a (non)rock band compare to advising congress? “There’s a lot of heavy stuff you have to lift and a lot of crappy food. But the most fun two hours of the day is when we’re onstage.”

James Cowdery 27 October 05
Animal Collective – Feels, out now on FatCat.
Read members' comments related to this music.
in the studio post 11
comment by samueljlewis    Jan 12, 2006
just did a bit of extra research to get it clear: here comes the indian
spirit theyve gone spirit theyve vanished/ danse
campfire songs
sung tongs
prospect hummer

complain about this page
in the studio post 10
comment by samueljlewis    Jan 12, 2006
feels is easily in the top 5 best albums of 2005. more accessible than sung tongs and danse, which are both great (haven't heard the other), yet without losing any of their charm. theyre truly an inspiring band. the prospect hummer album is also great, vashti bunyan's voice fits their music perfectly. and as if all that weren't enough they're an incredible live band, though i may have been lucky, all four of them played here (on tour with múm).
complain about this page
in the studio post 9
comment by Johandesilva    Jan 9, 2006
I have listened to the albums and nothing stood out. I am hoping it’s a grower.
complain about this page
in the studio post 8
comment by vonaxenbourg    Dec 29, 2005
I agree that Animal Collective must have spent a great deal of time in the studio. This track sounds a little heavy on the reverb, and surely too much on the delay. "Grass" sounds good, quite good really, but there may be more interesting experimentation ahead. Do it, Animal Collective!
complain about this page
The Nursery Cryme???????? post 7
comment by Spinky    Dec 8, 2005
Where does everyone stand on the do they / don't they sound like Genesis argument? (I've seen the comparison in a couple of places). From the little I've heard of them, they do sound a bit like a more shoegazery Genesis*. Maybe this is the start of the prog-shoegazer movement (sandalgazing?)

* obviously the early years, not the Phil Collins fronted dad-rock.
complain about this page
The Purple Bottle???????? post 6
comment by goodbyeenemy    Dec 7, 2005
nope. the allman vibe.
complain about this page
The Purple Bottle???????? post 5
comment by sansfeature    Nov 24, 2005
That's definately not the Purple Bottle i know
complain about this page
The Purple Bottle???????? post 4
comment by shazbah    Nov 19, 2005
I don't think that's the correct footage for The Purple bottle?
complain about this page
sound texture post 3
comment by cineblue    Nov 3, 2005
Feels, Sung Tongs, Campfire Songs, Danse Manatee, (all their albums) they're all genious! I find them to be an escape from the music world that's all about money and trying too hard to be famous. The Animal Collective, what can I say besides how happy their existance makes me. It's like nothing else, which puts some people off, but I gave them a chance and suddenly, it was all I was listening to. They sound like something that has always been there, it's a music of life and emotion. That's the best I can describe them. "Feels" definately adds weight to the rolling snowball of albums they've released. I think, along with Sung Tongs, this album definately appeals to newcomers more. The songs maintain a consistant flow. A little less experimental, but the album still holds that warm nook in my ear with the others. Sorry to write so much, they're my favorite band and I want others to realize the complex beauty that is Animal Collective.
complain about this page
sound texture post 2
comment by Arnofio    Nov 1, 2005
I think its their 6th or maybe 7th
complain about this page

related info
note: The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
see also
animal collective
single review

animal collective
album review

fat cat
label profile

recent sessions

arctic monkeys


green man


the rakes


music archive
Watch music sessions and interviews from 2002 to 2008.

books and comics archive
Author interviews and reviews from 2002 to 2008.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy