Animalore is the second full-length album from the four-piece Brooklyn-based indie pop band Via Audio, and was produced by Spoon’s drummer Jim Eno. On their first full-length album Say Something the band created wistful and likable indie pop that garnered the praise of many, including Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla who identified them as his “new favorite band” and other publications soon followed with gleaming reviews. On Animalore each song appears to be entirely detached from the others creating an assortment of some sort, a work of art, an experience of miraculous proportions that undoubtedly shows the creative aptitude Via Audio holds. When I think of a word to depict Animalore irregularity comes to mind, is that a bad thing? Well no, with the help of Eno, the band crafted the songs down to the final detail, and the fact that the songs do not intermingle melodiously somehow makes the album easier to assimilate.
On the opening track “Hello”, Jessica Martin’s voice is well appreciated due to the delicate and uncomplicated arrangements of the song; her voice is memorable as she sings “well hello, though it isn’t so hard to say…” Her vocals absolutely carry the song and “Goldrush” follows in the same direction with stimulating simplicity, attractive melody, and a funky 70’s styled ending that gives the song a nice feel. “Babies” shows more of the band’s indie pop/electronic sound that can bring the hipsters out to the dance floor; the line “I know the world is overcrowded but I wanna make babies with you,” stands out and illustrates the clever and witty songwriting that the band enjoys. “Tigers” is distinguishing and polite, while “Wanted” shifts to a more evocative classic sound that is beautiful and airbrushed with sixties pop melodies. “Too Quiet” is yet another silky transition to the indie ditty “Lizard Song”, which is engaging and tells the story of a “little lizard in Japan,” generating a fairy tale-like depiction. “Digital” generates a lo-fi electronic sound that seems to be taking aim at apparently no talent pop stars – “kid you’ve got the look of a star it doesn’t even matter how good you are”, the music is good but the lyrics seem to be tackling an issue that has been talked about so many times that perhaps makes this track the weakest on the album. “Summer Stars” is romantic and full of allure, Martin’s voice is enticing as she sings “we feel as though were doing something right” and makes this track a brilliant indie pop song. “Oh Bla Wee” and “Olga” are more uncomplicated than the other songs but they are still gems, on these tracks the band goes back to the sixties pop formula that they used on “Wanted”. The album ends strong with “Happening” an easy on the ear tune which starts with an acoustic guitar that’s lovable and fun but then builds up to a boisterous and joyful bang.
Via Audio are audacious in their attempt to create a wide array of organic sounds, and their efforts pay off; it’s not often that a band can instill so many approaches into an album and get away with it but Animalore delivers the goods. If you could displace the music into an empty canvas, the result would be a masterpiece of art that would incorporate many western styles of painting, from abstract all the way down to tonalism.