[15] Animal Collective, ‘My Girls’

Equally lauded and disparaged across the blogosphere – well, perhaps not equally, but loud voices on either side – the standout single of 2009 features Animal Collective marrying their yen for somewhat flat Beach Boys harmonies with an evolving brash electronica to muddle out a dance music you couldn’t possibly cut a rug to, but which sounds like a rave nonetheless. I’m particularly drawn to Panda Bear’s tribute to his girls, having three (count ’em, THREE) little daughters of my own, and find the dense trippiness of the whole endlessly uplifting.

Still none the wiser about “Adobe slabs”.

Junior says: “The beat makes my eyes blink like this,” followed by furious fluttering of eyelids. It’s like a natural strobe.

Best bit: The delayed arrival of bass. We’re still not really dancing, but think it can’t be far off.

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[1] Animal Collective, ‘My Girls’

For all its ecstatic brilliance, it’s annoying that I’ve known what the single of the year is for most of 2009. But it seemed so obvious when I heard it. I hadn’t been expecting truly great things from Animal Collective – maybe more of the same quirky pop, bellowed harmonies, abstract lyrics and squelchy textures – so when they came up with this dense, sticky, Beach Boys rave track that actually seemed to be about something (Panda Bear’s kids and – erm – Adobe slabs), it was as welcome as a fat cheque on a… well, right about now, please.

It’s struck me that I might simply be a sucker for this because I have daughters (and everyone likes to think that song is about them, don’t they? Don’t they?), but listen to those Frankie Knuckles-nabbing synths and the slow introduction of the bass that makes it sound like Orbital – and then the steady rise and layering of the sonics, the two different hooks that could stand as a chorus. And the “Woo!”s. Your hands are in the air, aren’t they?

On this play, Junior pranced like a deer from kitchen to living room, but she’s been tuned into ‘My Girls’ all year, along with its album Merriweather Post Pavilion, a mainstay of the car in 2009 – and probably the album of the year too. The Horrors’ one was good too, mind you. And Grizzly Bear’s. And Wild Beasts’.

We’re not going to do an album chart though. We’re going to do the Top 50 Best Singles of the 2000s, and we’ll start next week. Merry Christmas, all you cats.

I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things…