Avey Tare
Cows On Hourglass Pond


4.0
excellent

Review

by SandwichBubble USER (28 Reviews)
March 25th, 2019 | 113 replies


Release Date: 03/22/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Giddy-up.

Animal Collective is not in the best place right now. With several releases by the band now garnering no more than a lukewarm reception, it seems as if this decade more than anything has brought the cracks hidden underneath a bit closer to the surface. While not an outright fall from grace, it’s safe to say that there is a disconnect between the artists and the appreciators. As the collective. But as individuals, the members of AnCo seem to be stretching their wings a bit with each passing year. Some with moderate success (Deakin’s 2016 debut Sleep Cycle), others not so fortunate (Panda Bear’s more recent output).

Which brings us to Avey Tare (Dave Portner), and where he falls into the fold. I suppose my outlook on his discography is a bit different than most, as I thoroughly enjoyed his last album, Eucalyptus. There was a lot to love about that album in my eyes, but something just did not sit with the listening public. Perhaps there was still lingering doubt. After all, that album was coming only a year off the polarizing Painting With, an album considered one of the Collective’s weakest releases to date. Another ill-received album followed soon after with 2018’s ambient Tangerine Reef. It seemed as if AnCo had fallen out of public favor for good. But what of its members?

When Cows On Hourglass Pond released, I was ready for a bombshell. Less than two years later, Avey released another solo record out into the wild. This time, it seemed different. There was a confidence to the release, almost as if he wanted it to be heard as soon as it was finished. That excitement is contagious, and only meant one thing in my eyes: a knockout. My feelings were validated by the number of singles that preceded its release: The upbeat “Saturdays (Again)”, the downtempo electronica of “Taken Boy”, the comfortable strum of “HORS_”. What all of these have in common is a simplicity, one that has been severely lacking in the Collective as of late. It’s why I was so drawn to Eucalyptus on release, as that album saw a return of a more centered sound. Yes, there is some audio trickery involved with both this and Eucalyptus, but not to the point of distraction like it has been for so many years now.

Tracks like “Nostalgia in Lemonade” and “Our Little Chapter” revel in this electronica wonderland for long periods. However, they only serve as a backing and not as the star. So many times, specifically since their breakout album back in 2009, AnCo seemed to feel comfortable letting the instruments play themselves and taking a backseat in their own music. Cows sees Avey finding that balance again, finding a comfortable middle-ground for is vox, as well as his impressive songwriting chops, to share the spotlight with the haze of instruments. “Remember Mayan” is a beautifully-formed psych pop gem, captivating in every sense and only enhanced by the dreamy electronic backing. Even when the (comparably) short instrumental track “Chilly Blue” whirrs and chirps, it is properly juxtaposed by an atmosphere of soothing calm and the strum of a guitar.

Despite what it’s almost-mechanical exterior may say, Cows On Hourglass Pond is an album full of hopeful emotion and longing. When Portner warbles out lines like “We're getting old now” on the opening track “What’s the Goodside?”, this could be misconstrued as a sign of impending doom. But, it serves as an uplifting reminder to let go of those stressors:

“Do you wanna embrace it, but the aging heart's been born of this”
“It'll take some getting used to, but the aging heart stood warm, in bliss“

When the album closes with “HORS_”, there is a bittersweet tone that pervades. Inspired by how language seems to change depending on the passage of time, looping back to the ideas from the intro track, this song wonders what a word as simple as ‘horse’ will mean down the line. It’s original meaning has been skewed so many times, only time will tell how we view certain words. In the same vein, how will we view Animal Collective and Avey Tare as time progresses? Will there be a fondness to those familiar names, will it be longing, or will it be disgust and confusion? Only time will tell, but much like the cowboys of old, there’s little worth standing still for. I’ll stay for the ride.



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user ratings (110)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Source(s):

https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/03/avey-tare-cows-on-hourglass-pond-track-by-track-stream/



Review sucks, but it's staff's fault for taking too long to review this. I'll never take responsibility for my actions, woop woop.

Any edits appreciated.

DoofDoof
March 25th 2019


6622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos and a quick reminder to anyone unaware - a Sandwich 4 equals a 4.5+ for regular tier users

Digging: Kev Hopper - Corbyn Sceptic Club

calmrose
March 25th 2019


5304 Comments


sweet, didn't know this was a thing

loved Eucalyptus, excited to jam

Digging: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F? A? ?

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ʳᵉˡᶦˢᵗᵉⁿᵗᵒᵉᵘᶜᵃˡʸᵖᵗᵘˢ ʳᵉˡᶦˢᵗᵉⁿᵗᵒᵉᵘᶜᵃˡʸᵖᵗᵘˢ ʳᵉˡᶦˢᵗᵉⁿᵗᵒᵉᵘᶜᵃˡʸᵖᵗᵘˢ ʳᵉˡᶦˢᵗᵉⁿᵗᵒᵉᵘᶜᵃˡʸᵖᵗᵘˢ ʳᵉˡᶦˢᵗᵉⁿᵗᵒᵉᵘᶜᵃˡʸᵖᵗᵘˢ



A secret mod like myself can't have too many 4.5s

Honestly though, this is a borderline 4.5



Hope you dig calmrose

calmrose
March 25th 2019


5304 Comments


yeah this rules

Papa Universe
March 25th 2019


22454 Comments


cows on hourglass POS

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks pops

Also unrelated but I didn't do the Ex discography run next like I said I would. I owe you a coke.

Papa Universe
March 25th 2019


22454 Comments


oh don't give me that, my nose can't handle any more bleeding

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

*I owe you a used needle

Sorry, fixed for nasal recuperation.

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh, thank you to whoever featured this. I didn't really want to ask since I asked last time and I felt a bit greedy.





Jasdevi087
March 25th 2019


5848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

absolutely devastated to find that this is mostly about horses instead of cows

Digging: clipping. - There Existed an Addiction to Blood

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

False advertising at its most heinous.

GhandhiLion
March 25th 2019


6306 Comments


I will catch this in 2 years. when I listen to all the recent Animal Collective albums.

It is set.

Digging: Matt Mitchell - Fiction

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2019


19188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

quality

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yep yup yap



Ghandhi, get with it or get left behind, the Avey train is leaving the station.

betlwedl
March 25th 2019


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sad seeing how accepted the perception of recent anco output in this review is tbh. Painting with is awesome, just not what people were expecting, and tangerine reef's perception was dragged by people pulling it out of the context of the full visual album experience it was meant for. Also deakin's sleep cycle and the meeting of the waters ep were excellent, only real arguable miss out of their recent output has been maybe the newest panda bear, but even that I feel like suffers from dolphin being the first track and being one of the weaker ones on the album whereas there are some great tracks hidden away on there too.



Anyways, this album rules and is probably my favorite anco solo release since person pitch. Chilly blue is just wonderful and I love how well he blends the dance rhythms with the acoustic music on the first few tracks. HORS_ is another early favorite for me

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hey man, I loved Tangerine Reef a lot and Meeting of the Waters was damn good. Eucalyptus was one of my faves of 2017. But average rating doesn't lie (sometimes), people don't really like the new stuff very much.



Basically, that intro is just for dramatic effect. Wanted to assure the casual on-and-off fan that this is worth checking.

betlwedl
March 25th 2019


128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah not slighting you or the review at all, just is sad that all the recent output has been so underappreciated because a lot of it is really great and doesn't deserve as much hate as it gets. this is def a lot more easily accessible to people that have been turned off by those releases though

SandwichBubble
March 25th 2019


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Agreed on it being a bit of a downer, there's about 5-6 pages of me complaining about Tangerine Reef's reception on that review.



But we real ones know they never really fell that far.

anatelier
March 25th 2019


2947 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best anco record since MPP



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