Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Sung Tongs’ by Andy Mangold

Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / 'Sung Tongs' by Andy Mangold

Andy Mangold

I’m super excited this morning because we’ve finally reached Sung Tongs, one of my favorite records and a place where I think most Animal Collective fans start their collections. At this point they had recorded 3 albums in two years, although this album was recorded only by Avey Tare and Panda Bear. To me, Sung Tongs feels like they finally felt comfortable with the music they were making, like they really started to understand just what they were doing.

Some of the songs on this album are some of my favorites of theirs overall. I’ve posted Kids on Holiday above as the sample because it’s possibly one of my favorite Animal Collective songs. There’s a pace and rhythm to this song that’s unlike any I’ve ever heard, it’s hypnotic. Then you have songs like Winter’s Love, which I would personally describe as a beautiful track. Split in two, the beginning melody acts as a prelude to what’s to come. Even the 12:37 song Visiting Friends is beautiful, a slow hush of guitars over a trickle of random-seeming, ambient sounds.

As for the wallpaper today, I can’t think of anyone better to interpret this then the curator of this series, Andy Mangold. Andy has such a vibrancy to his design style, all of his work feels so crisp and perfect. He’s also a master of all mediums, doing everything from posters, branding, package design, even a wood block calendar with custom designed numerals.

With Andy’s wallpaper for Sung Tongs I feel like he’s totally captured the energy and beauty of the album. I think if someone didn’t know better they’d think this was the real album cover. It’s colorful without being jarring and there’s lots of room for your icons, for Mac or Windows kids. Here’s what he had to say about his wallpaper.

Sung Tongs feels very childish to me, in a good way. There is an immaturity and naivete that gives the whole album an air of authenticity and rawness. The image of the children playing on the jungle-gym is how I choose to imagine David and Noah creating the album, experimenting, probing, exploring, and above all else, laughing.

The diversity of sounds and sonic textures is staggering, especially considering it was all created by only two people. I tried to represent this variation visually with the spectrum of colored, textured bars layered over the imagery.

A very big thanks to Andy for not only this beautiful wallpaper but for curating so many amazing artists. The talented folks chosen have made some of the best wallpapers out there, and I owe him a lot. Thanks Andy! Check back next week when we explore Feels.

3 Comments Sights & Sounds: Animal Collective / ‘Sung Tongs’ by Andy Mangold

  1. Hilary August 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    This is super well done. Love the colours.

  2. Marshall August 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Not to disparage the project or bemoan the selections in music. I appreciate the wallpapers; mostly, they’re nice in and of themselves. But so far this project has been kind of frustrating to follow due to the practice of going through a band’s entire catalog before moving on to the next. I don’t particularly care one way or the other for any of the bands featured so far (I’ve been photoshopping out the type in the pieces that include the artist/album), and it was sort of dispiriting when I read the next band was Animal Collective and that it would be at least two months before even the possibility of a piece I can really get into and engage with. I understand we all have our own tastes and this is your blog and you’re free to do as you want and all (though the three bands so far all seem to fall in the ‘contemporary indie pop/rock’ bucket and I half expect the next pick to be the Flaming Lips or Bjork). But I think doing one album by one artist at a time and introducing more variety into the genre and time period would make this a stronger series and a more enjoyable one to read and follow.

  3. Bobby SolomonBobby Solomon August 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    @Marshall – Oooohh, doing a Björk series would be amazing, I just need to track down some Icelandic folk!

    Not to be defensive or rude, but complaining about something free is mildly bemoaning. I understand what you’re saying though, and on some points I’ll be making changes. In future wallpapers I’m going to take off band names and titles and the such, they’re unnecessary and distracting.

    And what you said is correct, I get to make the rules cuz’ this is my baby. Art is art, and free art is even better. Through this project I get to show regional talent and group them around the universal concept of music. Maybe this doesn’t totally vibe with you, but a lot of people dig it and making everyone happy isn’t a concept that’s possible.

    Variety will eventually come, but for the time being I’m enjoying seeing some of my favorite designers create art around my favorite albums.

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