Title: Fall Be Kind
Format: 12" Single
Catalogue Number: RUG341T
Year of Release: 2009
Not content with starting 2009 with one of the best albums of the decade (link back to my review pouring scorn on all the [now seemingly justified] hyperbole), they end the year with an EP that is also, for quite different reasons, fabulous.
At the beginning, they seems almost to wilfully distance themselves from Merriweather's singable pop-songs by having 3 minutes of drifty stuff with loose lyrics laid over, then some (at-first) ridiculous pan-pipe sample. That it does all come together and make sense is testament that this band can take you anywhere they like, and you will still be rewarded for following.
The second track is getting a lot more UK radio airplay three months on than you might expect from a track that loops and then sings over a cut-up Grateful Dead vocal sample. What Would I Want? Sky wouldn't have been out of place on Merriweather, as the tone is similarly upbeat, but it would have been one of the more bizarre moments.
Bleeding harks back to the earlier, more formless experiments AC did, as showcased to great (perhaps too great) extent on the Animal Crack Box. Interesting, but only as a bridge between the tunes.
On the B-side, On A Highway is Avey Tare's list of what goes through his head on the coach between live dates, as the pressure of touring and the unreality of living that way increase. The list is punctuated with the title of the track, and is delivered over two slightly-jarring keyboard chords. There's a mid-section where Panda Bear joins on vocals, and a clunky percussive loop enters the frame, then back to the list with extra noises added, to fade. An oddly unsettling number.
And the final track, longest on the EP, is one where Panda sings. So harmonies and looped chanting with synths a la Person Pitch? Yes, and then not quite... is he really singing, "Will I get to move on soon?". Is this a song about Panda wanting to leave the band? The last minute seemed a bit of pointless keyboard meandering to me too.
And here's a very complimentary Pitchfork review: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13739-fall-be-kind-ep/