Avey Tare (a.k.a. David Portner) released his solo debut, Down There, in 2010. It spoke in swamp to a cloud of critics that lamplighted it for intense, dark, heavy, experimental and soggy sound motion.
I’d say the album blows you off the sunset field to a forgotten place, a favorite memory of an abandoned house enlivened with all the eccentricities you dreamed were draped behind the broken paint chips and board. If you’re not familiar with Avey Tare’s performance over the last decade as founder in the group Animal Collective, then Down There is a foreign place — perhaps even sublime and frightening, like standing on the moss cliff behind the waterfall; but once your ear adjusts it sounds beautiful.
In late 2011 Avey Tare announced a tour for his second album (some say official solo album) that’s still in the works. Public Herald stopped at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh to showcase a +Creativity piece about this inspiring artist’s new experiment.
Disclaimer: I’m not sure what the new song titles are, so I’ve used arbitrary names.
The new songs, with respect to the previous album Down There, lived through the deluge and floated from the swamp to a ripe gleaner’s forest. Things here are not so soggy, the sun came out for awhile and a sculpture of umbrellas sits against the trunk of the oldest white pine in illuminating primary color.
From “Jerome” you wake up. The slow percussive beat in the beginning steps out from the déjà vu, walks, runs and works your senses for an answer, as goes the first refrain “still haven’t found a way to give comfort to Jerome…”. The song feels like the closest new track to being finished.
A consonant vibe from “Sometimes” is not at all lyrical, but it’s delivery swings in glee from the branch to land upside down looking up at the oncoming storm in a dry season. As time will tell, this song could be number one on the hit list for the new album.
I wasn’t keeping track of new songs in the show, but Avey’s go-to on the road said most of the sets for the tour focussed on new tracks. I’m guessing about three songs were performed from Down There, and maybe seven unheard tracks came out of the show. Overall, being the kind of person who craves an original listening experience, I’d say the new album is hovering between nine out of ten stars. Although, Avey’s new work will require a jump down the waterfall for many people looking for new music. My advice…lean forward.