Animal Collective/Vashti Bunyan

Animal Collective / Vashti Bunyan
Prospect Hummer EP (2005, FatCat)

I was peacefully drifting at sea when suddenly the bewitching voice of
a Siren sang out to me, “Stay,” as chiming waves of harp-like guitar
began to crash against my raft. Her serenade was absolutely
mesmerizing and I found myself paddling towards it without thinking.
Wandering piano notes sprinkled down from the sky and in the distance an island appeared, slowly growing larger. As I approached the waves grew more intense, a group of natives were sitting on the shore and I could hear them singing along with the goddess who had drawn me to this place, welcoming me as i washed ashore.

They wasted no time in starting a celebration upon my arrival, taking
out several guitars and playing a call and response over a primitive
drum beat as others sang wordless “whoa-whoa’s” over them and soon the beautiful Siren joined in as well. A crowd gathered and people
started banging sticks on rocks and ringing bells, then suddenly
everyone except the guitar players stopped and the wordless singing
began again. There was a short silence and then the guitars slowly
started up again along with a soft and breathy lullably from the Siren
and soon everyone was sound asleep.

In the morning I met another fellow who had somehow stumbled across this tropical paradise, he called himself the Geologist and got along quite well with the natives. He had been staying there for quite some time, studying the land and at night he was allowed to record their campfire songs. We went into his tent and he turned on a primitive recording device. Layers of guitar droned out of its little speaker, apparently he had recorded over the same section of tape numerous times. Behind us stood a wall full of electronic equipment and every 5 seconds or so one of the machines let out a little electronic squeak. Some steel drums drifted in and I was pleasantly surprised, I had not heard or seen any during the festivities of the previous night. After a few minutes the music began to skip and I noticed the ground moving slightly under my feet, and then the music cut out abruptly and there was a rumbling echo all around us.

It had been a minor earthquake, the Geologist told me they were fairly
common and that the people of the island considered them good luck.
We left his tent and on the beach someone was tapping a couple sticks against a rock in a very repetitive rhythm. Suddenly the guitars and that angelic voice appeared once more and everyone who was not
participating dove into the clear blue water. The playing was very
upbeat and then some steel drums joined in, clearer than on the
Geologist’s tape I had just heard. The music and the enchanting Siren
faded away too soon and I was alone on the beach, left with only the
soft hiss of the sea.

-Ryan Boss 7/1/05

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