Avey Tare - Down There (4 stars)

Avey Tare - Down There

(Paw Tracks)

Animal Collective’s Avey Tare could teach Elton John a whole lot about crocodile rock. The Baltimore-born singer-songwriter and producer – real name Dave Portner – is clearly obsessed with all things crocodilian, as his sometimes dreamy and sometimes terrifying debut solo long-player attests.

From its reptilian X-ray cover art through its dizzying swamp shanties (‘Laughing Hieroglyphic’, ‘Heads Hammock’), sluggish disco (‘Ghost of Books’, ‘Lucky 1’) and mud-slap electronica (‘Cemeteries’), Down There is a cohesive – and Animal Collective-friendly – voyage of discovery though murky, tropical alt-pop.

Avey Tare’s other favourite animal is the otter. We predict a semi-aquatic, furrier theme for album two.

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