Album review: Avey Tare, “Eucalyptus”

by Jon E. Lynch

Avey Tare, “Eucalyptus”

Available: Friday, July 21, via the Domino Recording Company on compact disc, or if purchased direct from the label, a deluxe double LP on 180-gram vinyl featuring Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket, a 16-page 11-by-11-inch lyric booklet featuring artwork by Paige Cleveland of Rule of Three Studio and a download of the album, available in various formats.

As of late, the band of musicians originally collected in Baltimore, Maryland, and now flung to the various reaches of the globe known as Animal Collective have made sonic art that is either hit or miss for me. It would seem a few things have become apparent since first coming across their records on the airwaves of various college radio stations in the early aughts.

One, what seemed to me as an acid-soaked exploration into sound, textures, and the inter-weaving of arthouse live instrumentation and electronic soundscapes, beats, and meanderings was best realized when the band, made of up the parts Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), Geologist (Brian Weitz) and Avey Tare (David Portner) worked as a whole.

Two, this sort of approach to music has (to be expected within these times we live) spawned countless sub-par imitators that have never quite achieved the level of cohesion as the Collective.

And finally, as far as “solo” outings go from the members of Animal Collective, Panda Bear may no longer be my preferred taste. OK, he still might be, but Avey Tare is closing the gap on this, his second proper full-length under this particular moniker. The sprawling hour-plus double LP has all the markings of an Animal Collective associated record, with dense layers of varying styles. The album features vocal contributions from Angel Deradoorian (of Slasher Flicks & Dirty Projectors), Eyvind Kang, Jessika Kenney, and Susan Alcorn, along with production help from none other than bandmate Deakin. Expect this offering to rate on many year-end lists of the artier-leaning critics.

Recommended for fans of Animal Collective, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Panda Bear, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Yeasayer, or Dirty Projectors

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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