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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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For much of the decade that followed Animal Collective's 2009 masterstroke Merriweather Post Pavilion, output from the group and its members splintered in several different directions. Animal Collective themselves continued along their never-linear trajectory with strange and spazzy albums that could be claustrophobic or spacious. Dave Portner, known under his stage name Avey Tare, went in various directions with his solo work as well, from the swampy gunk of 2010's Down There to the sprawling emotional whirlwind of 2017's Eucalyptus, an often-formless home-recorded reflection on major shifts in his personal life. Cows on Hourglass Pond streamlines Portner's impulses to wrap his tuneful songs in drawn-out experimentation, focusing instead on the closest thing to straightforward pop his weird vision can manage. Still dousing the mix with jagged samples, found sounds, and good-natured clouds of electronics, Portner's vocals are more up front and his melodies are less wandering. Much like the best moments of Eucalyptus and Animal Collective's stunning 2017 EP, Meeting of the Waters, acoustic guitar factors heavily into many of these succinct and hooky songs. The bounding "Saturdays (Again)" is one of the most immediately catchy songs Portner has penned since Animal Collective's playful and naive Sung Tongs era, and its wistful melody recalls the gentle, euphoric spirit of those early days. It doesn't feel like Portner is trying to recapture a younger version of himself, though. These songs feel weathered and wizened, with tracks like "Taken Boy" transmitting from a cautious distance. The entire album bears this metered reflection, and it makes sense. At this point, Portner has grown through over 20 years of developing, the feral screaming and psychedelic exploration of his early days sharpening into pristine synth pop and now blurring into a reflective collection of psychy, rural folk. The album forms fully in its last two tracks. The gently rolling "Remember Mayan" tying together its soft melodies and acoustic strums with stabs of deep synth bass and washy samples, and album closer "HORS_" sounding like Self-Portrait-era Bob Dylan reimagined as a trippy synth jam. He hasn't completely given up the weird sounds and manic energy his music has always relied on, but Cows on Hourglass Pond is an uncluttered and beautifully direct reading of Portner's always-opaque songwriting. The best tracks are among his strongest and the entire record finds Portner opening up the gates of noise and abstraction that can cloud his productions just enough for listeners to get a better look at his mysterious but friendly world as it evolves. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 27, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 21, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Arriving a year after his band's colorful, ebullient Painting With LP, the second solo album by Animal Collective's Avey Tare (aka David Portner) takes a sharp turn from the sound of his group -- or at least from their post-Campfire Songs output. With a languid, sylvan atmosphere and majority-acoustic demeanor, it's a departure not only from his band, but, to a lesser degree, from 2010's Down There and his Slasher Flicks project. On the home-recorded (with Deakin) Eucalyptus, Tare fills the post of calm raconteur rather than outré hook courier, journeying cross-country along psychedelic side paths, particularly on the meandering opening tracks. His first solo compositions since relocating to L.A., Tare has said that the West Coast's natural environment was an inspiration for the record. Incorporating samples, field recordings, and guests such as Slasher Flicks' Angel Deradoorian and avant-garde artists Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, some of its 15 songs are fleshier or trippier than the rest, but the tone is still restrained. The two-part "Lunch Out of Order" delves into the more experimental territory with samples, electronics, and what sound like found objects and drum components among its textured noise. In contrast, a warped version of catchy appears on the syncopated "Jackson 5," a song with tighter structure and a hummable melody. It makes use of acoustic guitar, rudimentary drums, light-handed effects, and harmony vocals, so still holds to an ostensibly organic palette. It's followed by another contrast, the murky, droning "Dr Aw One for J." With a playing time of over an hour, and a reflective, more often than not formless complexion, even acknowledging its subtle whimsy and California roots, Eucalyptus goes by like a long drive through the plains, rewarding the patient and attentive. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 25, 2010 | My Animal Home

Down There, the first solo album from Animal Collective's Avey Tare (except for a collaborative album with his wife, múm's Kría Brekkan), is naturally going to remind listeners of a quieter, more plaintive Animal Collective LP. That's not to say that Tare (aka Dave Portner), the group's primary writer, is a folkie singer/songwriter at heart, content to strum away at his guitar and sing about his feelings. Down There is virtually as experimental as Animal Collective. The beats are adventurous, sometimes so aqueous and damp that you can feel the splash, other times pin-point sharp. The rest of the musical backing is hazy and nearly unidentifiable, except when tones that are bell-like or chime-like rise above. Tare is similarly adventurous with his vocals, often multi-tracking and sampling it until his voice becomes just another element of the swampy, murky production. The obvious reference point here, aside from Animal Collective itself, would be his bandmate Panda Bear’s 2007 album Person Pitch, one of the most critically praised records of the year. Down There reveals that Avey Tare and Panda Bear have very similar musical visions, a function of the supportive nature of their record-making (both together and apart). Tare isn’t simply the songwriter/vocalist and Panda Bear the soundscape creator in some sort of Ferry/Eno dichotomy. Person Pitch proved that Panda Bear has an ear for melody, and Tare’s Down There has not only the same woodsy, pixilated folk-pop of AC but also much of its fractured production smarts. Still, quiet and reflective where Animal Collective has become epic and dense, the album is unique, a mellow gem of experimental folk. ~ John Bush
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 29, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 18, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 3, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2008 | Paw Tracks