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If you weren’t already aware that Avey Tare was a founding member of Animal Collective, then a cursory dip of the toe into this track, from his new solo album, should give the game away.
‘Lucky 1’’s electronic pulse and shuffle certainly suggest it was spawned at the same cross roads of melody and musical idiosyncrasy which Tare’s band call home. However, while stemming from similar creative loins, this first offering adds extra splashes of soul, melancholy and synthesisers to the psychedelic musical broth Animal Collective have become renowned for.
Supposedly recorded in a derelict church in the middle of a swamp where Tare, frequently inspired by his love of crocodiles, received visits from monks and toads, ‘Lucky 1’ seems to ape the surroundings of these peculiar studio sessions pretty accurately. The music bubbles, puffs and drips like a jungle, while a wobbly synthline weaves its way through a maze of heaving pistons, resulting in an organic cacophony of different rhythms for Tare to earnestly croon over. Despite their oddness, the results are distinctly old fashioned, like a drug-induced vision of the Beach Boys retrieved from amber.
As an album closer, it might make more sense; as a stand-alone track ‘Lucky 1’ doesn’t give too much away as to the contents of Down There. But where it does succeed is in its portrait of the artist, Tare appearing as a genuine eccentric, striving to push his music further into the wilderness than ever before.