Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Merriweather Post Pavilion

I just interviewed Dave Portner (Avey Tare) from Animal Collective about their new record Merriweather Post Pavilion.

A courier arrived with a watermarked copy of the album (complete with skull and crossbones warning stickers!) and after unwrapping the sheets of plastic and signing a release form from Domino records, it went straight into the CD player. I know what you're thinking and you shouldn't bother trying to hack my computer - there is no way I would import it into iTunes.

It is a beautiful record. After Strawberry Jam last year, MMP is a little less cluttered. The focus on straightforward melody is much more apparent as songs (My Girls for example) have been simplified and avoid the density of some of their previous releases. It's not that I prefer one sound over the other, they are just different. Which is what you would expect from this collective of genius composers.

The outer sleeve CD casing has had everyone talking lately - an insane optical illusion Portner described as a homage of sorts, reminding him of a high school friend's house where he and Brian would go for parties, nearby the Merriweather Post Pavilion. He remembers faintly hearing music from the venue while sitting in his friend's back yard, and said the album was an attempt to capture that feeling - of seasons, and weather patterns, and sounds in nature. Songs were inspired by water and hurricanes and whatnot, and after trying to settle on an album title with 'spring' or 'weather' in the title, Merriweather Post Pavilion seemed a perfect fit. It was intimate for the band after growing up in Maryland, random for those unfamiliar with their history, and used the word 'weather' without being too explicit.

Below is the outer sleeve artwork. It moves until you focus on one area, then stops. Uh-mayzingggg

The interview will be in the Dec/Jan issue of Groupie Magazine. I'll let you know when it's online, as the feature will include audio snippets for you to salivate over!

For now, Animal Collective are working on a film - kinda like a collage of music videos, or a collection of vignettes with short, lose narratives - destined for live screenings at music and film festivals early next year.

If you live in NYC, there is a listening party for Merriweather Post Pavilion TONIGHT at a venue Portner described as his new favourite - somewhere in Harlem where you can see the Brookyln bridge. Want details?

Email merriweatherpostpavilion@gmail.com to RSVP - quick sticks!

1 comment:

richard said...

pretty jealous you got to interview them about this. listening to the live bootlegs of the new record is doing my head in