Monday, July 4, 2011
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (2004)
There are few musical moments I can remember more vividly than the first time I heard Sung Tongs. It was my second year in college and I was only slightly familiar with their previous release (the excellent "Here Comes the Indian") Checking out Sung Tongs was only natural. Upon first listen my mind was blown all of over the surrounding floor in my dorm room. I was spending a lot time working on solo material and this music was seemed to be oddly in line with what I was trying to do. What was called "freak folk" at the time seems like such a distant and laughable memory, this is above all that Devendra Banhart posturing. In retrospect I now realize that there was some heavy president for Animal Collective's take on acoustic guitar campfire sing a longs. The 60's progressive folk movement held many an odd bird and most notably sound wise someone many are familiar with, a Mr. Marc Bolan ("Bang a Gong" anyone?) Then known as Tyrannosaurus Rex a sort of hippie bongo loving acoustic freakout with lyrics to match. The other influence (the more obvious of theirs) is The Beach Boys. Classic classy harmonies stripped straight from a canned session of Smiley Smile creep in and out of Sung Tongs. The true secret in this album is the emotion pouring from Avey Tare and Panda Bear's lyrics and their choice of chords. Its a record almost dedicated to nostalgic childhood moments and it translates so well that you begin to place your own to each song. Its an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish as an artist but it clicks here. I know they are pretty flipping popular these days but again if your only familiar in passing then now is your chance.
PS. For you "Visiting Friends" haters it is a gorgeous soaring piece of music. everyone should take the time to relax in a room to it.
Sung Tongs (2004)