Animal Collective Sample the Grateful Dead

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Since the group’s inception, Animal Collective have developed an interesting reputation. To some, they’re seen as avant-garde electronica’s answer to jam music. Their live shows consist of tunes which lapse into one another and wander with purpose. And though the music of Animal Collective may seem to be the product of an entirely different planet than that of jam band forefathers the Grateful Dead, the Baltimore natives are undeniably influenced by the Dead style and mode. They prove it with every one of their live shows. So it would make sense that the boys have made music history by being the first artists to gain rights to the first ever officially licensed Grateful Dead sample.

The unreleased track, tentatively titled “What Would I Want Sky” has been fluttering all over the internet in the form of live recordings and radio sessions for months. The song features a sample of the Dead’s “Unbroken Chain,” more specifically a few snippets of vocals spliced together to form the song’s title. It’s an interesting sample, and makes for yet another mind bending Animal Collective song. Evidently, AC fans aren’t the only ones who might think its good. According to Leg Up! Management, Dead bassist Phil Lesh has endorsed the song by expressing his love for it.

Noah Lennox and Brian Weitz, better known as Panda Bear and Geologist, respectively, had this to say to the Onion’s A.V. club regarding the song:

“BW: And “What Would I Want Sky” is something that Dave wrote for Merriweather and sent Noah and I, but we didn’t have time to work on parts before we got to the studio, and then one day a week, the engineer would like to have a day off. But we would usually go into the studio anyway and work on the songs that we had never played live, and some that didn’t make it on the record. “What Would I Want Sky” is one we just never got to. We just didn’t have enough time, so we worked on it in Lisbon in January. We all went to Lisbon to hang out for a week, and that’s when we made a full-band version of that song.

DP: Hopefully, we’re gonna do a kind of Brother Sport EP at the end of the year, with the extra tracks and maybe “What Would I Want Sky.” I think that would be sweet.”

Maybe Animal Collective hasn’t exactly registered with Deadheads just yet, but by the looks of it they’ll be tuning in shortly.


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