Avey Tare, aka Animal Collective co-founder Dave Portner, is perhaps best known for his ability to merge seemingly unrelated styles to build intricate surrealist soundscapes, a talent which has granted him much critical acclaim over the years. He may come across more like your standard hipster dad than he embodies the genre-pushing mystique of a Scott Walker or Frank Zappa, but there’s clearly something special beneath the oversized headphones of a man who looks like he spends a lot of time flicking through Sun Ra bootlegs at Amoeba. 7s is an album of outstanding depth, each track so densely layered that focusing on just one element is like listening to a stand-alone song. The surreal landscape is rich with wah-wah guitars, classical pianos and mechanical noises. At this point you may be thinking 7s may sound unlistenably pretentious and avant-garde, but you’d be mistaken. It is Portner’s ability to actually make this whole structure work which is why I think this is such a fantastic pop record – and it is, above all, a pop record.
Central to this record’s flamboyant charm is Avey Tare’s positive message about a world which we all look at so pessimistically. He is reminding us to tune into our surroundings, enjoy beauty and be wary of nihilism. Too deep? Maybe just walk to work without your airpods from time to time (not in London though – it’s shit).
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