Animal Collective – My Girls

Title: My Girls

Artist: Animal Collective

Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Year: 2009

Genre: Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Dream Pop, Electronic Indie

Leaked in late 2008, right in the middle of an ongoing economic meltdown, “My Girls” was perfectly of its moment, decrying materialism for simpler joys: “I don’t need to seem like I care about material things like social status/ I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls!” They don’t sing those lines; they exclaim them amid a whirl of synth beeps and sine waves that started from chaos and coalesced into an exuberant stomp.

It may be a strangely sentimental point for an indie group with avant-noise roots to make, but it also signaled another sea change in a decade full of them for Animal Collective. If previously they donned masks and adopted nicknames to hide their identities, coming across as way too esoteric to play to the rafters, on “My Girls” the band step forward as pop stars of their own making, managing the impossible feat of straddling so many different audiences: indie nerds, jambanders, your parents. They could end up being Phish or Arcade Fire or maybe both, but this song is the key to their future: effervescent, heartfelt, inventive, original, and gutsy enough to suggest that we don’t need a stable economy to be rich. –Stephen M. Deusner