TVD Radar: Animal Collective, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished 2LP & 3LP in stores 5/12

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Animal Collective have announced a reissue of their very first record Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, due out May 12 on Domino.

Originally released in a very small CD-only pressing on their own Animal label in August 2000 and credited to Avey Tare & Panda Bear prior to the full, collective band name being used on releases, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished has been praised by Vulture for its “starry-eyed sense of songcraft” and described by Pitchfork as “a masterful piece of electro-acoustic fairy-tale music; yet its squealing electronics, and vitrified rhythms suggest something darker. Like a Snickers bar with a razorblade in it.”

The reissue features remastered audio, new artwork by Abby and Dave Portner, and the “A Night at Mr. Raindrop’s Holistic Supermarket” EP, which contains five previously unreleased tracks, including a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” that were recorded from the same era and mixed by Animal Collective’s Deakin. The remastered album will be available physically on standard 2xLP, and an expanded edition containing the EP will be available digitally and physically via deluxe 3xLP & 2xCD formats.

Chiming laments for a childhood’s end, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished opens with the phrase “want to hear a secret, I know one,” suggesting these secrets just might be buried deep within the flocks of high frequencies, electronic glitches, bleeps, and swells that follow. The duo’s approach is similar to Love’s (circa Forever Changes), with Avey Tare’s picked acoustic guitar flowing in perfect syncopation with Panda Bear’s tumbling drum kit.

But the layers of tonal and atonal electronics that fatten the thinner pulse of the songwriter’s vision make this album resemble something closer to modern electronic composition. The songs range from speedy patchwork pieces to slower piano melodies, a somehow coherent yet very fragile brand of psychedelic music—their grasp of pop hooks and dynamics being counterbalanced by a love of noise / friction and musical anarchy; their songs wavering on the tightrope between deeply affecting beauty and unrestrained chaos.

Whilst the band have gone on to rightfully become one of the most name-dropped and influential groups of the past two decades, this debut effort reminds us of where they came from and remains a truly stunning and unique album.

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