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Avey Tare

Cows on Hourglass Pond


Mar 27, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

As Animal Collective ventures further into jam band territory, Avey Tare‘s solo work pulls in the opposite direction, providing a much needed respite from the literal minded excess that has marked the band’s more recent output. Avey tends to release his solo works as means of processing difficult personal crises. Down There saw our beloved troubadour retreating into the swamp with a murky broth of electronic loops and buzzy analog synths, while his most recent album Eucalyptus was a misty folk cycle driven mostly by mossy acoustic guitars layered on top of samples unearthed from the brush. Cows on Hourglass Pond finds Avey (aka David Michael Portner) synthesizing these two strains into a hybrid that partially illuminates the terrain hinted at by the title. Woods + Swamp = Pond is probably not perfect math, but then much of the appeal with this work is the feints and hints of the familiar that lurk in the unknown. This album, like his previous solo albums is melancholy, but here the elegiac tone that predominates through the tracks seems to be coming from a place of triumphant reflection instead of stewed in the thick of the moment. The angst is more measured and the acceptance of difficult motions in the growth of relationships cuts through like a wise fable from an experienced elder, ambiguous and directly applicable in equal measure.

The album was recorded on tape and the fluid motion that guides the rhythms of these tracks seems definitely influenced by this. Nearly every track is built from the ground up, using a rhythmic pulse that is then layered onto,creating a branching like structure as the songs evolve and expand. Showcasing his trademark eclecticism, the album has a paranoid-folk number (“Eyes on Eyes”), a beautiful, yearning break-up song (“Our Little Chapter”), and even a tribute to horses (“HORS_”). It’s a pensive work from one of music’s most spellbinding conjurors of the unknown. (www.aveytare.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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Paul Fellowes
March 31st 2019

This album can not be compared to or referenced from previous albums of work. This is a huge departure from what has gone before, both musically and lyrically. 7.5 is an insult..What we have hear is a body of work that is fully formed and creatively diverse yet reads as a coherent whole. A brilliant album!