ISOBEL MOHYEDDIN // According to Billboard Magazine and Consequence of Sound, Merriweather Post Pavillion ranks among not only the best amphitheaters in the nation, but finds itself listed as one of the best music venues period. Located in Columbia, Maryland, Merriweather was opened 50 years ago and is celebrated its anniversary only a few weeks ago on July 14th. Two indie powerhouses are touring through the DMV area and stopping by Merriweather later this summer on what is bound to be a show to remember.
Animal Collective has been churning out new music throughout the year. Despite releasing The Painters EP earlier this year, Animal Collective never seems to stop creating and producing new music. they released their second EP of 2017, Meeting of the Waters. Recorded originally as a part of a VICELAND documentary series, the EP consists of four tracks recorded along the Amazon Rainforest.
This won’t be the experimental psych-pop band’s first time in the district by any means. The Baltimore-based group recorded a live album from their show at our very own 9:30 Club, Live at 9:30 in 2015. Six years earlier, the group released arguably their best album Merriweather Post Pavilion. Named after the Columbia, Maryland venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion features some of Animal Collective’s strongest tracks like “My Girls”, “Summertime Clothes”, and “Brother Sport”.
Featuring the wildly infectious single “FloriDada”, Animal Collective released their tenth studio album Painting With last year. As a former Florida resident, Avey Tare’s explanation for the bubbly track instantly won me over: “[FloriDada is] sort of inspired by hating on people from Florida…Everybody—they kind of agree that Florida’s such a weird place, know what I mean? But in a way, that’s part of the charm of it.”
Painting With also marks the first release since the 2012 release of Centipede Hz. After its release, the three members of Animal Collective pursued their solo projects: Avey Tare released Enter the Slasher House in 2014, Panda Bear released Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper in 2015, and Geologist released Neolithic Nights in 2014. Back in the studio together under the Animal Collective name, the three appear to be consistently and constantly creating new
Joining Animal Collective on this tour is Fleet Foxes, the indie-folk group that has remained silent in terms of new music since their last record released in 2011, Helplessness Blues. Six years later, the band is back and releasing some of their best work to date.
Dropping singles with their trademark textured and layered vocals like “If You Need To, Keep Time on Me”, “Fool’s Errand”, and “Third of May /Ōdaigahara”, the band’s third album is shaping up to be a standout in their discography. The sound on Crack-Up is much more expansive and complex than previous Fleet Foxes albums. Tracks like “Fool’s Errand” and the nearly nine-minute long single,”Third of May/Ōdaigahara”, harken back to the band’s earlier work, however with a larger and fresh-sounding take.
Robin Pecknold and the rest of the band crafted an 11-track long album that has earned high praise from across the spectrum of music critics. Pitchfork awarded Crack-Up with “Best New Music” as well as scoring it at an 8.7, especially high for the notoriously harsh reviewer.
While the tour is certainly going to highlight their new album, fans should expect the band to play classics from both the Grammy-nominated Helplessness Blues as well as their self titled release, which dropped nine years ago in 2008. Both albums received critical acclaim, some naming them in their picks for top albums of the decade.
Fleet Foxes have been able to develop and master a sound that is uniquely their own. With their introspective lyrics, sweeping vocals, and daring sound, Fleet Foxes will be a perfect complement to the psychedelic tunes of Animal Collective.
Tickets are available here