The Grateful Dead sample in this Animal Collective song, the only authorized sample of its kind, is off a track on their new Fall Be Kind EP. It consists of the lyric, “Willow sky/ Whoa, I walk and wonder why.” But in the song, Animal Collective. samples the line so it begins in the middle and ends with the beginning – basically, you mishear it as the track’s title: “What Would I Want? Sky.” Dude, trippy.
The song begins with a three minute instrumental, a psychedelic Willy Wonkian boat trip set to a sharp-sounding drum loop in an intriguingly elusive time signature. Animal Collective’s characteristically indiscernible flurry of sampled hypnotic blips makes for a partly fluid, partly static texture that begs for headphones. And just when you think the instrumental is dragging on a bit too long (by three minutes, it gets kind of abrasive), the track cross-fades into the significantly cleaner second part.
Now, Avey Tare sings a reverby lead while Jerry Garcia does backup on that wonderful Dead sample mentioned above. This, combined with a "My Girls"-type big kick beat, makes for Animal Collective at its faux-poppy best. Tare’s surreal hummed verses are as enigmatic as their samples, and I love him for it.
“Old glasses clinking and a new board is blinking/ and I - /I should be floating but I'm weighted by thinking” – beautiful stuff. Call it an extension of their Meriwether Post Pavilion sound, yet different and intriguing enough to show that Animal Collective is still pushing in new directions, maturing their blend of avant-garde and pop aesthetic, showing when it comes to making good music the sky’s the only limit.
Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky
Fall Be Kind EP is out digitally and will be available physically on 12/15 on Domino. Order your copy at Insound.