STREAM: New Animal – “Falling Up”

New Animal

It’s 1:46am and I’m struggling with my words. It’s not that I’m caught by surprise or overwhelmed or left speechless by what I’m listening to; it’s more a case of personal expectations and something of a mental pushback on my part. New Animal have just released a new two-song single and I’m tempted to reach into my usual bag of adjectives—ambient, breezy, gauzy, atmospheric, diffuse. But there’s something about the exquisite melodies and harmonies that are pouring like honey into my headphones, something about the insistent stomp and hypnotic sleigh bell jangle that’s telling me to take a couple steps back and just, I don’t know, absorb.

I’m fairly sure I comprehend what it is I’m hearing and feeling, and yet the pragmatist in me has a need for certainty. All day I’ve been listening to “Falling Up” and with each successive spin I’ve become a little more enamored with its beauty, its warmness, its elegant simplicity. On the surface, there’s nothing either in the vocals or in the instrumentation to definitively separate it from anything else in the group’s canon, but I can’t help feeling there’s something different here. Maybe it’s the gorgeous guitars or DEAR GOD, THAT CODA, but, really, what I’m starting to believe ever more clearly is that this is the sound of New Animal peaking and preparing to transcend itself. Perhaps this will be the point where we’ll look back and realize the group was much more than just another dreamy psyche-pop outfit. And here’s where I hit a wall. Because what that more is or will be is anyone’s guess; maybe it’s something that will never materialize. But what I hear distinctly now is a band who’s taken everything they’ve done musically before and distilled it into one beautiful masterwork of beguiling pop. It’s the best thing they’ve ever done, and, who knows, it could be the best they’ll ever do. But I somehow I doubt it. Somewhere in here in-between all the rhythms, melodies and rhythms, is the sound of New Animal’s evolution. All they need to do is find it. Easier said then done, right? Well, of course. But that’s their struggle, not mine.

The “Falling Up” b/w “They Won’t Let Me Go” single is available for download on iTunes via Old Flame Records (Cloud Nothings, Dead Confederate, Turf War). Fans hoping for a physical release can pre-order the cassette, which will be limited to just 100 copies.

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