What Would I Want? Sky

It is sunny right now in London, a perfect time to get acquainted with this song good and proper. I realize the entire blogosphere has covered this ground already, but oh wow Animal Collective! You boys sure do spoil us.

'My Girls' was all shimmering anxiety building to triumphant resolve. 'What Would I Want? Sky' is more obviously a song of two parts. It starts with a claustrophobic cacophony -- bruising drums and echoed ululations. You're fighting ghosts underwater, ghosts chanting what sounds like "blue jeans" at you. Freaky. You want to get out. And then the song surfaces, and becomes all shiny and new. And then the sample kicks in. And the beat. And the verse. And it gets difficult again. You cannot get a grasp on the groove, even though you want to: "the point of horizon is hiding from you". The song is reaching for transcendence -- to fit the pieces together into a glorious whole. And it just about manages it when the vocal and the sample join together at the end, but only for a few exquisite seconds. Then the vocal is gone, and the sample cuts out unfinished. What would I want...

The actual lyrics suggest this is about the band living in the city, and wanting to escape it, geographically and spiritually. What I find interesting is the use of the sample (from the Grateful Dead, a big influence apparently). I can't help getting a little Harold Bloom on that detail -- perhaps the song is also about trying to capture, and match, the music that has influenced the band. The eternity it seeks is (on a more mundane level) an artistic one.

But all of that is just pointless intellectual diversion. You should be floating, not weighed down by thinking. If you have ever yearned for anything, throw on this song and ride that cresting wave.

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