Animal Collective - 'Time Skiffs'

8/10

In the wake of their vibrant 2016 LP 'Painting With', Animal Collective did what they do best and chose to spend the subsequent years in and out of flux. With several members pursuing solo careers, the output for the band was reduced to a few EP releases and the visual collection 'Tangerine Reef' that kept the fire burning, but lacked a lot of the determined drive that we only seem to see when all four members throw themselves into a project. Now after a few years to get their bearings in place, they are back with their eleventh full-length 'Time Skiffs', a record that returns them back to the top of their field.

It has been no secret that Animal Collective's praise has been coming and going over the years, with the experimental nature of the group hitting its mark almost half of the time since they first started. But when things come into alignment, like on 'Time Skiffs', they remind us exactly why so many eagerly await their next release. While it isn't one of their records that explores bold and vivid textures, the warm and atmospheric nature of this new collection makes for an alluring listen as we find ourselves switching off the world around us to get a better sense of what these new songs are all about.

There is something undeniably compelling about 'Time Skiffs' that gives it such a powerful sound. It feels like we are entering a new dawn within Animal Collective's direction, something that is far more humble and intimate than their usual fanfare, but equal absorbing at almost every turn.

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