Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Nov 24th 2009 12:30PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I think that's why we wanted to put it out at the end of the year," Portner tells Spinner of 'Fall Be Kind,' out now digitally and available next month on CD and vinyl. "It feels like [the songs] all kind of fit together with the touring and the things we've been doing for the last couple of years. It definitely feels like the end of this era."
The EP features five songs, three of which -- 'Graze,' 'I Think I Can' and 'On a Highway' -- the band started recording during 'Merriweather' but decided to let gestate a bit longer.
"There's always one song with every record where we're like, 'That didn't work somehow,'" Portner says. "These songs just needed a little more time."
The 'Fall Be Kind' tunes share much in common with the 'Merriweather' material, and taken as a whole, Animal Collective's 2008-09 output represents a definite stylistic shift -- a movement toward what could almost be described as pop music. The rhythms are still frantic and the dense blend of electronic and acoustic instruments disorienting, but the harmonies and melodies dazzle.
While Animal Collective might be tempted to follow up such a non-challenging, universally-loved album with something more abstract -- a throwback to the kinds of abrasive records that characterized its early years -- Portner doubts it will, at least not consciously.
"It's not like we're thinking, 'Let's throw people for a loop -- because we did something poppy or popular we have to do something [less accessible]," he says. "I'm aware that something like 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' is more palatable than something like 'Here Comes the Indian,' but in terms of what we get out of the songs, there's always a little bit of [a pop element] in there."
It's perhaps even less likely Animal Collective will look to build on this year's success by staying the course and recording 'Merriweather Post Pavilion II.'
"I try not to think about it so much, really, how popular it is or how many people talk about it," Portner says. "Just in terms of the music we're going to make, I guess it doesn't really help or hurt us that much, if that makes sense. I think it has been what it is. I feel like, sonically, we've always wanted to move ahead, and so it's never really been about a linear trajectory. It's been, 'Try this out; try this out.' It's a process, and I think it adds together, and one step leads to another."