It almost feels as if we are being spoiled by Animal Collective right now. Prior to last year's resounding release 'Time Skiffs', the group had largely been focusing on their solo material and other projects, leaving their output sparser than we had come to expect from them. But it seems that their previous outing was just the shunt they needed to get working together again as they return with their twelfth studio album 'Isn't It Now?', a record that harks back to those immersive psychedelic ideals they first emerged with.
Throughout the last decade or so, Animal Collective's sound has been moving further away from their more traditional psych-rock roots in search of something new and interesting in which to pursue. So it comes as a welcome surprise to hear the group getting back to their basics on 'Isn't It Now?', a release brimming with shimmering textures from start to finish. While still looking as a companion piece to 'Time Skiffs', the new full-length is a classic Animal Collective release, one that broadens their musical horizons and delves further into what made them such an alluring presence in the first place.
While their more established work still remains the benchmark of their creative wisdom in the eyes of their fans, 'Isn't It Now?' feels like the closest they have come to recreating that initial pursuit in years. With such a vibrant display of aesthetics on show, they are very much back to their best here.