It's been four years since Animal Collective swam close to mainstream with their breakout album Meriweather Post Pavilion. The poppy departure landed the experimental Baltimore band on countless "Best of 2009" lists, and led to a memorably weird spot on Late Night With David Letterman. It also gave the four members the chance to lay low after recording their ninth album. They took their longest break yet, spun off into solo projects, and generally made fans worry that the group was kaput.
But far from ending things, Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist went old school, getting together in a single space to write their next album instead of collaborating from different ports around the world the way they always had.
The result of their convergence is the space-themed Centipede Hz, which released yesterday. Depending on what you read, the 11 new tracks are either the last piece of the puzzle of how to make Animal Collective a household name, or a retread into the alienating rawness of the band's early work.
In the exclusive Creators Project video below, the band's four members explain in real terms (and tagged with their real names) how this album is actually different from the rest, in terms of explicit sonic and visual choices. Bryan Weitz aka Geologist's rule for himself this time around says something about the band's base oddness: "no insects, no bugs, no animal sounds, no sort of outdoor ambience."
Head to the Creators Project site for more on the video series on Centipede Hz and Animal Collective Radio, the band's weekly broadcast. We've posted the first single off Centipede Hz, "Today's Supernatural," below. The full album is streamable at NPR.
LISTEN to "Today's Supernatural":