Animal Collective
Prospect Hummer
/fat cat; 2005/



After having ingested copious quantities of beer the night before, the record reviewer decides to try to cure his hangover with a walk through the countryside. He moans and grieves, complaining about his situation as a sub-par rock critic, wishing he could receive decent albums to review like his boss -who happens to be a girl.

After having thrown up twice, he decides to rest beneath the oak tree he used to play under as a child with the faceless, nameless kids everyone played with at some point. And then he falls asleep out of pure exhaustion mixed with a persistent high.

He hears seagulls, soft guitars and a woman singing with an ageless voice. There are handclaps made by little furry things laughing in the grass. The record reviewer says to himself "they're half human, half animal and they're really small." They all start to dance around him and eventually call a flock of birds to lift him up onto the top of tree and it seems like there is nothing in the world he can't see.

When he opens his eyes it takes him a moment to realize where he is. He's at his boss's place and she's sitting at the computer writing a review. The music sounds familiar, it reminds him of Animal Collective's Sung Tongs except that there's a woman singing and the voice in his head reminds him of how much he would have loved to review Sung Tongs.

Suddenly, out of complete stupidity, he gets up and, with a groan, picks up the vase filled with roses sent earlier by an admirer of her inspiring approach to reviewing. As he lifts it up and starts aiming for the base of her neck she swiftly turns around a kicks him in the chest, propulsing him to the other side of the room. "You're fired," she says, and then decides to keep on reviewing the great record she's received.

Prospect Hummer is an ep filled with songs Animal Collective had saved from the Sung Tongs sessions in order to have forgotten worshipped cult hippie singer Vashti Bunyan sing on them. She sings beautifully on three tracks, the fourth being filled with (wooden) walls of guitars and seagulls and whales singing along. It's been a summer favourite for the past two months, and it sounds even better with an adequate weather. Vashti Bunyan never sounds like your grandma, she still has the perfectly ethereal soft voice you'd expect from a psych-hippie folk singer. These four songs are among Animal Collective's very best, a great companion ep to last year's impressive Sung Tongs. Do yourself a favour and pick up this wonderful ep.

-Barbara H

/june 1st 2005/