Animal Collective

Prospect Hummer

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On first listen, Prospect Hummer, the welcome four-song collaboration of obscure folk doyenne Vashti Bunyan with postmodern experimentalists Animal Collective, appears to be a formless wash of vocals and autoharp, a work that ebbs and flows with some power but ultimately signifies nothing. It gradually becomes clear, however, that something more is occurring here; the group is channeling the same sense of primal folk -- not traditional, yet very ancient -- that Bunyan and her friends did on the quiet 1970 masterpiece Just Another Diamond Day and Animal Collective did on a different scale with 2004's Sung Tongs. This is very much a modern recording, focusing on the spirit of the performance rather than song-based material (the only exception is the closer). While the material doesn't have the same infectious power as Bunyan's "Rose Hip November," it deliciously blends the similarities held by both Bunyan in the late '60s and Animal Collective nearly 40 years later.

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