Release date: May 3, 2004
Though Sung Tongs was the band's fifth album, the Animal Collective that we all know and love was formed with the making and release of this definitive LP. Trading in their electric guitars from Here Comes the Indian for a distinctly acoustic vibe, AnCo started to stray into a freakier, psychedelic territory that they would more fully inhabit on successive releases like Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Highly regarded in 2004 as one of the year's best releases, Sung Tongs' influence hasn't waned with age.
We've all heard the stories of how Bob Dylan first introduced the Beatles to weed, and how the band's habitual use of pot and LSD completely reshaped their sound, a change resulting in Rubber Soul. For Animal Collective, Sung Tongs showcases a similar breakthrough, serving as the pupal stage of the band's remarkable metamorphosis. From the opening track, "Leaf House," swirling chants, layered echoes, and a free-wheeling ecstasy signal that a new type of band was emerging from the one that fans had previously known.
Highly regarded in 2004 as one of the year's best releases, Sung Tongs' influence hasn't waned with age. If anything, its formative qualities have only become more obvious, as countless bands have tried and failed to emulate the spiritual fervor that has come to define Animal Collective.