Published Mar 26, 2019Cows on Hourglass Pond quickly establishes a balance between dreamy soundscape and groovy dance track. The bass line on "What's the Goodside?" anchors Dave Portner's vocals, but gives the listener plenty of space to ponder the vocals. When this rhythmic-ambient balance is maintained, Avey Tare's latest album is a pleasure.
Unfortunately, some more dreamy tracks lose this balance and meander slowly. "Nostalgia in Lemonade" in particular sounds far too similar to earlier work from Avey Tare and Animal Collective without being particularly memorable on its own merits.
Cows on Hourglass Pond is most impactful when it takes a variety of simple pieces and builds a powerful sound. A great example of this is "K.C. Yours," which moves seamlessly from a soft swell, brings in a simple, clacking percussion and circles around to the whimsical idea of being "picked up at the robot bus stop."
Another highlight is "Our Little Chapter," a humble meditation on how life will exist without the singer, who is simply experiencing their titular "Little Chapter" of existence.
Fans of Animal Collective, Avey Tare and the psychedelic sound they are so strongly identified with will find much to enjoy here. On the other hand, Avey Tare cannot be said to be pushing boundaries or taking many risks here, other than on final track "HORS_," which shows hints of newer experiments into electronic music that could be developed further in the future. (Domino)