Campfire Songs Campfire Songs

[Catsup Plate; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: lo-fi rock, field-recording, indie rock
Others: The Microphones, The Mountain Goats, Animal Collective

The Animal Collective is a Brooklyn-based group of musicians slowly making a name for themselves with two different projects this year. Their names are Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist. Although there have been many projects amongst these gentlemen over the past years, only three of them comprise of this project known as Campfire Songs. Of their two albums released this year, one is titled Here Comes the Indian, and the other is this release, aptly titled Campfire Songs. The three members have gathered here for a lo-fi, almost field-recording, acoustic experiment, which takes place in the outdoors on a screened-in porch in rural Maryland. It’s a voyeuristically wonderful little piece of work due to its intimate feel. The first track, “Queen In My Pictures,” leisurely flows along with strums of untimely guitar chords with the slow wash of rain and crickets chirping subtly in the distance. As “Doggy” progresses, you find yourself almost getting closer to the action, as the music tends to become louder than before. A large part of the charm comes in its recording technique; which is somewhat reminiscent of Phil Elvrum’s work as The Microphones and Mt. Eerie. It’s as if you’re not supposed to be listening, because the album was recorded from a distance. Imagine what it would sound like if your neighbors were throwing a party that you weren’t invited to. That pretty much summarizes the technique they’ve used here. The difference in Campfire Songs, and say, The Glow, Pt. 2, is that Campfire Songs utilizes true nature sounds to act as the backdrop for the music. On occasion, you can hear the passing of an airplane, the wind blowing too hard into the microphone, or a bird off in the distance. I can honestly say that this album has grown on me quite a lot in the past several weeks. I’ve always been a fan of lo-fi recordings, and Campfire Songs gives all new meaning to what is possible in this under-appreciated genre of music.

1. Queen In My Pictures
2. Doggy
3. Two Corvettes
4. Moo Rah Rah Rain
5. De Soto de Son

Most Read