They'd probably be offended - or more likely remain completely totally non-plussed - but of all the fascinating acts to emerge from America in the last few years, surely the most influential right now has to be Animal Collective. After years lurking quite happily in obscure, non-conformist shallows, the Baltimore quartet's eighth album Merriweather Post Pavilion struck upon a dazzling formula that melded both their weird and their wonderful into an (Almost) everyman form, one which has eventually percolated further down towards the mainstream, as evidenced on releases like Player Piano.
Continue reading: Memory Tapes, Player Piano Album Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.