» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan
Prospect Hummer
Fat Cat Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

June 22, 2005
Animal Collective continue to enhance their status as frontrunners of the scene The Wire has labelled 'New Weird America', with this collaboration with British folk songbird, Vashti Bunyan. Bunyan, who released Just Another Diamond Day, a cult-classic, in 1970, has teamed up with the quirky and mysterious US-two/three/four piece to record four tracks of contemporary tribal-folk that proves to be as trippy as it is extraordinarily captivating.

Prospect Hummer travels along a similar route to Sung Tongs - if their last two releases are anything to go by, it would appear that Animal Collective have discarded their sonic experimentalist approach to song writing in favour of an increasingly accessible, disturbingly catchy free-folk modus operandi. The atmosphere is warm and euphoric, providing an apt counterpart to the setting of a nocturnal campfire - a form of site specification that Animal Collective have almost explicitly set forth.

As with Sung Tongs, vocals play an overtly prominent role in Prospect Hummer, with Bunyan taking on board chief responsibility. The guitars, although acoustic and relatively dry, are utilized creatively. "It's You" begins with a series of swells that create a wash-like accompaniment for Bunyan's fragile voice, before the croons of Avey Tare and Panda Bear enter. The title track is particularly buoyant, complete with marching percussion and choral chorus. The song structures conform to a mere handful of rules, collecting and disintegrating as they spontaneously please, and demonstrating a form of musicianship that is commendable in terms of its own confidence, rather than its technicalities.

Instrumental "Baleen Sample" could well be perceived as an extension of "Visiting Friends" from Sung Tongs - such is the nature of its sweeping guitars, linear motion and interfering background noise. The simple chords and breezy melody of "I Remember Learning How to Dive" close Prospect Hummer on an innocently endearing note, refining its representation as a minor chapter in a tale that is fast developing into a classic.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright



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