Experimental rock band Animal Collective have returned with their quarantine album. Crafted over the course of 2020, the band’s eleventh studio album—Time Skiffs—arrives on February 4, 2022.
Serving as the follow-up to 2016's Painting With, the new album features nine new tracks, recorded by members Avey Tare, Deakin, Geologist, and Panda Bear, with mixing by Marta Salogni. Salogni’s previous mixing projects include Bjork’s Utopia, David Byrne’s American Utopia, Lady Gaga’s Dawn Of Chromatica, and more.
In a statement, Animal Collective describes Time Skiffs as a collection of “love letters, distress signals, en plein air observations, and relaxation hymns, the collected transmissions of four people who have grown into relationships and parenthood and adult worry.”
The first single from Time Skiffs, titled “Prester John,” weaves two songs together—one written by Avey Tare and one by Panda Bear. No, it does not sound like “Jazz+Jazz=Jazz,” but it’s a relaxed and meditative endeavor. Synths make way for acoustic instruments, veering greatly from the vibrant and electronic-forward Painting With. “Prester John” is subdued but effective, with a bass line that smooths out any rough edges.
Animal Collective’s most recently released the original score they composed for the off-the-grid 2020 documentary, Crestone. In 2019, they released the live album, Ballet Slippers, featuring live recordings from the early sets of Merriweather Post Pavilion in celebration of their magnum opus’ ten year anniversary. Following Painting With, the band shared the audiovisual album Tangerine Reef, which upon its release we said, “The worst way to engage with Tangerine Reef is by listening to it.”
So they’ve been busy over the last nearly six years cultivating other musical endeavors, but a new era of the ever-transforming group is here. They’ve also announced a round of U.S. tour dates, which kick off in March 2022.
Here’s the full track listing for Time Skiffs:
1. “Dragon Slayer”
2. “Car Keys”
3. “Prester John”
4. “Strung with Everything”
8. “We Go Back”
9. “Royal and Desire”