Y'all come back now . . .

By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 31, 2008

If any band is qualified to represent (willingly or not) what we've got to say for ourselves as the end of this, the most destabilized decade in recent memory, perhaps it's Animal Collective — who so comfortably (and prolifically) dwell in that space between intention and accident, direction and digression. Their latest, Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino, January 13) is even trippier than its eye-crossing album art. Their carefully concocted abandon, relentless pursuit of busted beauty, and rapturous revelry in nothing more than their own uncertainty might be the closest we can come to a tidy vision of ourselves at this moment — and it's not so tidy.

Dan Deacon might also be a fitting ambassador to future generations trying to get us: awash in the sound of electro-wreckage, writhing to party against the collapse, his newest, Bromst (Carpark, March 24), promises to take a darker, "more mature" approach than was demonstrated in the neon lo-tech jamz that committed him to the YouTube canon. Of course, if all you need to make it to the next decade is a beautiful voice to follow, Neko Case will be back with Middle Cyclone (Anti-) on March 3. If anything can light the way, she can.

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Related: WFNX's top 101 songs of the decade, 2009: The top 10 in pop music, 52 ways to leave 2009, More more >
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