Forthcoming Animal Collective album to be weirdest, least comprehensible yet

Tonight, Dave "Avey Tare" Portner will um, swamp the Triple Rock Social Club with what will no doubt be an intoxicatingly diverse DJ set. But next year - the year when the world's supposed to end, remember - Portner and his fuzzy, amusingly named pals in Animal Collective with their eagerly awaited follow-up to 2009's feted/fellated Merriweather Post Pavilion. On Monday, Pitchfork teased fans with the news that the quartet of New Weird Americans are apparently 15 songs deep, thus far. Of course, none of this is really "news" in a stop-the-presses sense, but, yeah, it's nice to know, and it has the undeniable effect of making those of us who can't help but be fascinated by everything these dudes do - at least half of Tomboy was the shiznit, for real - speculate wildly about what our thirtysomething woodland friends have up their sleeve.

And guess what? The answer, as it happens, is plenty.

See, we know somebody who knows somebody who used to stage dogfights with an ex-Paw Tracks intern, and through a circuitous and dizzying series of connections and channels, in exchange for several mint-condition, signed

Love & Rockets

graphic novels and other deal-sweeteners we cannot legally discuss, we managed to learn a bit more about the new Animal Collective album than the fact that the thing is tantalizingly close to existing.

Here's what we found out.


The album, tentatively titled Treebeard, is expected to be the group's longest yet, longer even than 2003's epic, massively baked Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished/Danse Manatee two-fer re-ish. Our source claims to be able to comfortably smoke "a quarter" while listing to the album back-to-front: "Seriously, you could drive across Tennessee and still be rocking to this pan-rhythmic art-pop upon entering Arkansas, where they skin hippies for wandering city streets in anthropomorphic animal costumes."


In addition to release in MP3, FLAC, CD, and four-sided vinyl formats, expect a 50-count edition of Treebeard cassettes. Forty will be sold through the Paw Tracks online store, but the other 10 copies will given as prizes to fans who order tickets for dates on the band's Mayan Apocalypse Year tour through the Southwest.

"The thinking is that each lucky winner receives, like, a Golden Ticket. Like in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. But so there's nothing on the ticket except one of those trippy squares you can scan with a smartphone, and scanning the square will trigger an interactive videogame site that co-opts your phone and pretty much renders it inoperable until your vividly-detailed 3D avatar rescues a princess some other stuff, at which point the site will tell you that we hid your tape copy of Treebeard under the passenger seat of your Geo Metro while you were working the late shift at Jamba Juice."

Each cassette will include a psychotropic sleeve and pubes contributed by Animal Collective, though our source took pains to stress that said pubes aren't necessarily connected, genetically speaking, to Animal Collective.


"What? No, no, this is an album, bro. No lights; just vibes."

Are Wayne Coyne and Justin Timberlake Involved?

"I can't go there. But, you know, would that surprise you?"

Song Titles

Possible song titles include the following, allegedly:

"Hot-Air Bassoon"
"Ninja-Action Punk"
"Masterpiece Ashes"
"Lark Slalom"
"Olive Oyl"
"My Incan Eyes"
"Don't Taze Me, Hobo"


While the band is self-producing this time around, the truck, rattling hip-hop low-end Ben Allen brought to Pavilion remains, in service of fractured, challenging compositions that our source describes as "a cross between early Olivia Tremor Control, canonical Nurse With Wound, and late Stockhausen." A meager advance was blown on truckloads of antique African masks, industrial kitchen appliances, and a Buddha Machine. Noah "Panda Bear" Lennox developed an unlikely fascination with hair driers and taught himself to build sitars.

"There were deeply sincere discussions, about things that aren't even, like possible," the source marvelled. "Philosophical discussions, really mad theoretical brainstorming, like 'What if we could shrink ourselves down to subatomic size and actually surf a sound wave?' and the nature of a note as a physical thing. It was weird. A week was spent touring zoos and just recording whiny bears. They burned scuffed pairs of all those fucking Animal Collective shoes and recorded that, then remixed it with tracks of The Geologist puking up Jose Cuervo and treacly accordion jams and crowd chatter from the Sung Tongs tour. I know this because I was there, and the whole time I was high as fuck, like, to a blotto, decadent degree, but I wasn't even on anything stronger than a triple caramel latte."

Cover Art

"Simon Bisley tribute to Frank Frazetta as misinterpreted by Kaz."

Possibility of a Single From Treebeard Appearing In A Michael Bay Film

"Oh my god, I am so shutting up right now. I. Cannot. Go. There."

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