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Water Curses EP
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Water Curses is nearly 20 minutes of sound effects and synthesizers that run the gambit of human emotion, from unbridled joy to nocturnal alienation and everything in between. Their strong suit has always been their incredible ear for melody and Water Curses has this in spades. Avey's singing accelerates, escalates, darts between playful and adamant and explodes forth only to slowly pull back like a low tide.
After I got over my initial habit of listening to Water Curses 12 times in a row and calling it a day (haha), I found that I actually prefer the whimsical circular conversation that takes place in Street Flash ("I'm so sorry I came in late this evening, but all the clocks around the town had died and all the fruit store's colors were so bright, with couples smiling, cooking things tonight. And what were all those troubles on my mind?"). Street Flash and the clicking metronome and eventual refrain of Cobwebs bursting forth like a Hallelujah choir are the strong points of this little collection.
This New York experimental-pop band seem to be embracing a more poppy sound in the "Water Curses" EP, along with bubbling samples and a distinctly Beateslesque vocal style. I have no idea where this new style will take them, but they pretty clearly aren't running out of inspiration anytime soon.
It opens with a growling guitar, a ripple of bubbling water... and rapidly blossoms into the colourful, rippling sounds of the title track, punctuated by swaths of spacey synth. The murmured lyrics are just as watery: "I want to be like water/and never need a doctor/and carve the earth without my tools... I want to be like water and slip into your throat/and make you feel alive and good."
Once the twitters and bubbles of that song have faded out, we get the meditative spaciness of "Street Flash," which sounds like the Beatles stayed up all night in the woods, complete with feral roars. "Cobwebs" sounds even spacier, a meandering and trippy little song that just sort of floats away into the stratosphere as Avey Tare pronounces, "I'm not goin' underground!" over and over. If you say so.
And then more bubbles. And wind. And hammering. And what sounds like whistling. And a piano.
Having completely confused me about the sound of "Seal Eyeing," the Animal Collective slips into a gentle, ethereal little song that just sort of floats around in a haze of piano, eerie synth and odd sound effects. Avey Tare's voice voice wafts through it like a wistful ghost, even as the melody becomes more cluttered with odd strings.
I have to admit, my adoration of Animal Collective tends to fade between their various albums and EPs.Read more ›
The songs themselves are pleasantly diverse. "Water Curses" is a classic sugar high Animal Collective singalong in the grand tradition of "Who Could Win a Rabbit?" or "Grass", complete with hyper-speed Avey Tare lyrics and odd rhythms.
"Street Flash" is a longer, more minimal song dominated by soft processed piano chords echoing in rhythm. The song seems content to just hang there in its blissed out sunshine space for its 6 minute duration, but Panda Bear's lyrics and vocal melody are beautiful. When I first heard the piercing scream that punctuates the end of many of the lines, I thought it didn't fit, but now it belongs in some strange way. Panda Bear sings of 'inside fever', something we've all experienced... The song ends, "and what were all those troubles on my mind? Oh, I took a walk..." Classic Animal Collective optimism. Experimental music so often falls on the darker end of the spectrum, it's nice to see this sort of feeling in a group who sounds like this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Water Curses is probably the record that made me fall in love with Animal Collective. No--maybe that's not true. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristine
Street Flash and Cobwebs are both really good songs. Worth purchase.Published 8 months ago by daniel
Amazing ep, one of their best. Don't hesitate to get it, it's 100% worth it. Heeeelll yeah h h. WATER CURSES!! STREET FLASH!! COBWEBS!!! seAL EYEEEESEIIIINNNGGGGFGFDANAAHUAJSVAPublished on February 5, 2014 by lmt
I hear this as their artistic segue from Strawberry Jam to Merriweather Post Pavilion. Like the name suggests there's a clear watery theme here. Read morePublished on October 30, 2010 by Johnsen Wake
Fascinating slice of premier neo-folk group's ever-continuing evolutions may, in its brevity, serve better as a twisted musical road-map for fans than an actual... Read more
Having been a fan of Animal Collective for some time, I could have kicked myself for not buying this sooner. Soon after it arrived, I couldn't stop listening to the title song. Read morePublished on March 31, 2009 by CocoRosieFan
I read some stuff about how some people don't like the "new" sound. Humans change so it only makes sense that the music they make will change too. Read morePublished on December 21, 2008 by Joy L. Pendley
i haven't enjoyed an animal collective album since sung tongs, i think. it's been a while. i got to see them at all points west, i wished i hadn't. Read morePublished on October 6, 2008 by MAlbert
Too short EP and not full length..., fooled me good. I prefer longer pieces rather than the short ones. 3 stars.Published on September 19, 2008 by JP Anderson