Animal Collective and the array of albums they’ve released over the past two decades have always had trouble balancing the mechanics of what make their songs so memorable: the familiarity in the noisiness and the deeply introspective core. No matter the album, the sweeping sonics have fought their way to shroud the emotional tales of families and the interactions amongst different creatures. “Lying in the Grass” attempts to explain the phenomena that affects all of us and why communicating appears simple, but hides so many complexities.
There are two sides essential to the second single they’ve released so far. The back and forth sample paired with the synthesizers chugging along with the consistency of an iron lung acts as the introduction that finds it’s equal in the surprisingly authentic instrumentation later on. It’s no secret that Colin Stetson would make an appearance on their tenth album, but the freewheeling sax he employs is followed with woodwinds and keys that feel rehabilitating after the technological cluster of Centipede Hz. These colorful additions travel along the pasture and wire into the synths with so much ease it’s easy to miss them in the mix, even when they’re in plain sight. But as the two elements chase each other’s tails, they finally conjoin and revel in the headspace.
The psych pop trio are not new to combining the synthetic with organic, but for the first time it never weighs heavy on the ear, instead opening up and becoming a breezy jam as they sing about finding the “hidden mixture.” That always seems to be the goal with them, finding the perfect combination for every emotion. The complexities and fragmentations within the world demand a simplicity and honesty more than ever. With the tangible elements revealed at every level, the transparency of their sound palette is something their discography refreshingly needed.
– T. Pennington