Bridge to Quiet, the quarantine EP created by Animal Collective, is pure experimentation. They take a ton of twang, echo in hypnotic droning, and stretch sound through a synthesizer in every which way to create a psychedelic-jam-band aesthetic to be enjoyed during the many, many, many idle hours of isolation COVID-19 has put their fans through.
Animal Collective constructed Bridge to Quiet from recycled music they had been making pre-pandemic. As the band explains, “During April and May, we took a look at some of our improvisations from 2019 and early 2020. We remixed them, collaged them, and built them into songs, finding our way to Bridge to Quiet.” [TowerRecords.com]. Working their creativity through the restraint of limited sound samples, they pitched and amplified their audio tracks, interlaying tropical percussion with coherent static to create an odd sense of order among the nonsensical rhythm.
Do not be fooled by the quaint, alt-pop band name in Animal Collective, as their psychedelic nature is much more in tune with carnival-funk electronic like the band Beats Antique. Animal Collective breaks a lot of forms that standard music lovers take for granted. Their lyrics do not make much sense, as the album is more reminiscent of being carried along in Alice’s head as she gets lost in Wonderland, only to emerge back in reality when the short tour is over. Bridge to Quiet is a trippy collection of audio, and audiences will either listen on repeat or switch to something more familiar before finishing their first playthrough.
While only four songs, the shortest song is seven and a half minutes, with the full EP standing at 34-minutes in length. The only thing that separates it from an official album is its surprise release, which is somehow quickly becoming the norm for artists exploding with pent-up creatively during “The Great Pause”.
Animal Collective is a music-lovers band in that they so regularly break convention, even managing to out experiment themselves in a new absurd way with each release. However, that also means they are a turn off for the casual listener as Animal Collective takes time to build up an auditory pallet. Animal Collective fits in perfectly at a day-time music festival, as their collection of music is an upbeat lull that is more mind-bending than exhilarating. It is hard to truly experience what the band offers without seeing them live, but in Bridge to Quiet, they come damn close to bringing their brand of weird right to your eardrums.