There is a band of revelrous young men, spreading cheer and ambience and wide-eyed wild wishing, like farmers spread seed to make dwindling crops grow. In this case, the farmers are grown men who harbour a fascination with strawberry jam, and have opted out of using the names their tentatively caucasian, middle-aged mothers game them, instead preferring the heartwarming titles of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist. This collection of revelrous creatures? Animal Collective.
Hailing from their Baltimore, Maryland home of ... well, Baltimore, Maryland, these four young men need not be introduced. If pieces of art that are titled Strawberry Jam, Merriweather Post Pavilion and Feels don't ring a bell for you, you need a new fucking bell. Animal Collective have been wildly and rightfully successful in 2009, releasing their most-acclaimed record to date. An Animal Collective fan, also known as someone difficult to find in a room filled with cardigans, knows one thing about this band, if they know anything. After every gracious album these men release, an EP must follow, still orbiting the themes and the sounds of the album that spawned it. The interesting trait of these almost expected EPs is that each one is equally reverent and independent as any album the band has produced. Fall Be Kind is no exception.
Fall Be Kind, the title of their new EP, and if fall was kind to them (ambient sunshine pop on the Billboard 100? That's beyond kind. That's life desiring to perform some blatantly sexual acts on them...), winter is looking just as hospitable. Beach Boy-esque rhythms, Richard Hell and the Voidoids exhilaration, and (this is the part where I stop comparing them to other people!) the exacerbated joy of pop that Animal Collective is known for bestowing are heavily 'stowed. There isn't much one can say of this EP besides, entertain a pair of shorts beneath your snow pants this winter, and a pair of headphones to circumnavigate your head, and you'll be just fine.
Fall was kind, who's to say winter won't be?