Announce new album Isn’t It Now?
Out September 29th on Domino
Animal Collective will release their new studio album Isn’t It Now? On September 29th via Domino. The quartet of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist recorded Isn’t It Now? with the Grammy-winning producer Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, The Roots, Kamasi Washington), who co-produced and mixed the album. Animal Collective’s structure has long been that of a playground, an open space for exercising and indulging new notions and influences, for saying “Why not?” from way up on the high beams. Maybe that means allowing Panda Bear to focus on his drumming more or encouraging Deakin to dig more deeply into his piano playing. Or perhaps it is giving Avey Tare and Geologist’s burgeoning interest in Renaissance music—plainchant, the hurdy-gurdy, gilded polyphony—space to bloom. Those impulses are at the very core of Isn’t It Now?, the second Animal Collective album in as many years and a striking landmark on their joyously circuitous journey.
Now the band shares the album opener “Soul Capturer.” An anthem for our existential online malaise, it calls to mind whatever it is that seduces you—drugs, sex, an old friend you know better than to trust, and absolutely and unequivocally the Internet and how it can make you feel so low about even your absolute highs.
The melody of this track sticks, and immediately this track pulls you in whilst the release proudly captures the signature Animal Collective energy. It’s a vivid and intoxicating composition that shimmers with this complex tonality and enchanting lyrical movement. The rolling melodies loop and controls your entire attention, transporting you into the centre of this cosmic creation.
Isn’t It Now? features the previously released 22-minute epic “Defeat,” as well as “King’s Walk,” a track the band has been playing live for the last few years, including at their 2022 NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.
Isn’t it Now? is available for pre-order on Mart edition 2xLP orchid vinyl, indie edition 2xLP tangerine vinyl, standard 2xLP, CD and digitally. Dom Mart | Digital
In the summer of 2019, Animal Collective rendezvoused in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., renting a cabin in that bucolic countryside southwest of Nashville. During that literal monthlong residency, they realized they actually had at least two records—20 songs or so they all liked, that felt like unexpected avenues into different corners of their universe. Before they could decide what to do with that motivating mass of music, though, the world decided for them, as it did for most everyone during these last four years. They commandeered the nine they knew they could record remotely to a click track, passing file overseas and up and down coasts. In that fashion, they built 2022’s Time Skiffs, a record that felt like a wondrous exhalation at the end of a spell of dizzying exhaustion.
But they held fast to the rest, waiting for the time when the world opened up and they could sequester themselves in the studio with the producer they’d long admired: Russell Elevado. Maybe that name comes as a surprise. During the last 30 years, Elevado has become a legendary figure at the nexus of hip-hop, soul, and jazz, the engineer and producer who has infused albums by D’Angelo, The Roots, and Kamasi Washington with so much warmth. He is also a steadfast analog champion, using his mastery of past gear to make modern landmarks that sound like little else. Animal Collective long wondered how they might work within his orbit. During two weeks at New York’s The Bunker in late 2021 between holidays, they found out with Isn’t It Now?, a brilliant aberration that reaffirms what’s made Animal Collective so special for so long.
At 64 minutes, Isn’t It Now? is the longest Animal Collective album ever, nearly a third of its runtime going to the entrancing and eruptive ode to hopeful perseverance, “Defeat.” But it feels somehow succinct, like a true-to-life slipstream of anxiety and beauty, nostalgia and progress, sadness and hope that welcomes you in and ushers you out with a single slow breath. They finished it in just 12 days using at most 24 channels, dual testaments not only to the fact that they’d taken these songs on the Time Skiffs tour but also that they were relaxed and engaged, motivated by being in a room together again. Their rapport with Elevado was instant and easy, too, as they navigated from their very different experiences toward mutually new realms. Isn’t It Now? is as communal and supportive as Animal Collective has ever felt, and they happen to be supplying that spirit of kinship to some of the best songs they’ve ever written. These nine pieces are triumphs of attitude and execution, end to end.
Isn’t It Now? album artwork by Dave Portner
1. Soul Capturer
2. Genie’s Open
3. Broke Zodiac
4. Magicians From Baltimore
6. Gem & I
7. Stride Rite
8. All The Clubs Are Broken
9. King’s Walk