Avey Tare: Eucalyptus review – invigorating reminder of Animal Collective's oddness


The recurring criticism of Avey Tare’s solo work to date has been that it strays too close to the output of his day job as vocalist for Baltimore oddballs Animal Collective. In truth, so distinctive is Tare’s slacker warble that you could stick it on top of a recording of Gregorian chanting and it would probably still sound like his parent band. Yet, there was definitely an inescapable hint of AC’s limpid weirdo-pop on 2010’s Down There and 2014’s Enter the Slasher House. His latest album still resembles Animal Collective, but in a way that feels invigorating rather than tired. Described as “an electroacoustic movement through leaves, rocks and dust”, it revives the backwoods freak-folk that the band largely abandoned after 2005’s excellent Feels. There are a few too many noodling sound collages across its 15 tracks, but at its peak – on the delicate, maudlin Ms Secret or the chirpingly melodic Jackson 5 – Eucalyptus reminds you of what made Tare and his bandmates such a thrillingly different prospect in the first place.


Gwilym Mumford

The GuardianTramp

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