In an interview conducted in 2003 with the NYC-by-way-of-Maryland Animal Collective (the group now roams somewhere between Brooklyn, D.C., and Portugal), the band's two main songwriters, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Avey Tare (Dave Portner), divulged to me their philosophy of approaching vocals, seeing it as just another instrument, as texture, as something to mask, manipulate, de-emphasize, undercut. "We didn't want the vocals to sit on top," Avey said, so with band members Geologist (Brian Weltz) and Deakin (Josh Dibb), they always put the sound first. But four years and three albums on from that moment, their words have been steadily rising and clarifying in the mix, so that on the Collective's... More >>>