Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

In the past, it’s been easier to slip Animal Collective’s name into a conversation in the hope of impressing someone than it has been to actually enjoy listening to them. Previous albums have been as wilfully impenetrable as they have been inspiring. Merriweather Post Pavilion changes all that however, being simultaneously more grown-up and controlled and yet with a childish urge to experiment. Musically, it’s as Technicolor as the mind-bending cover art, with pulsating dance rhythms emerging unexpectedly on tracks such as opener ‘In The Flowers’ and the jubilant single ‘Summertime Clothes’. With ‘My Girls’, they made their finest song, a simple, heartfelt plea for domestic bliss (“I just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls”), cased in a euphoric musical confection.

Key track: ‘My Girls’