Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Banshee Beat

All artists fight against making shitty music, but none fight against making it in the same way. Animal Collective, for example, has never floundered for lack of inspiration. In my opinion, they haven't floundered very often, but when they have, its not because the music becomes trite or boring, but because the music does not offer them a place in which they can get comfortable. Despite its ever presence, chaos does not necessarily have a hand in indicating the quality of an AnCo song. At this point, I consider "Banshee Beat" to be their best song, not because its atypical of their sound, but because its the opposite. Its extremely typical of them in spite of itself. There is a point where the experimental must eventually become the conventional and this song is it for the band. They have restrained themselves to a point where they only need a single indicator of their sonic character to appear at a time, lending further purpose to all indicators. They are not unfamiliar with atonal and arhythmic ambiance, but here it finally seems to have a proper setting and goes on for as long as is necessary, not that the chord and beat that eventually arise are any less perfect. All this time, both band and listener sink deeper and deeper into the cushions, until, with one of the most subtle and heart dropping chord changes I think I have ever heard (2:25), the song jolts to a start. I could go on but I think you get it. This understanding of the song is not just important for the purposes of claiming the song's quality. It also shows that a quantity or alienness of sound is not necessary to create a chaotic, unique, and unconventional song. All that is needed is a level of comfort and an understanding of form. And a little spirit.

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