words by tom johnson
We first came across Power Animal back in the summer of 2016 when Keith Hampson’s project released a track featuring Ó’s Gabbi Smith and finally, some 15 months or so on from that, Hampson finally releases a full-length effort, with Good Wind Pt.1 released today and streaming in full for you below.
Similar in tone to Smith’s own work, Power Animal make tightly wound pop songs with an experiment edge, many of the songs centred around a relatively simple core structure and then punctuated and adorned with little flourishes of nuance; flashes of colour that make the whole thing decidedly more captivating. Opening track ‘Mold Spores’ is indicative of such a thing, the atmospheric edges, all playful beats and real-world samples dropping you in to the heart of the world that Power Animal create here, before a gem of a pop song unrolls with tenderly endearing charm.
That aforementioned collaboration is here too and it remains a gnarly highlight, sharing lines with Ó’s own piece-de-resistance, Broken Necks. Elsewhere the five-and-a-half minute ‘Unkept’ is exactly that; a fidgety, disjointed song that lends the whole thing a somewhat darker edge, while closing track ‘Soil’ is perhaps the record’s most impressive moment, the clustered and inventive instrumental backdrop gently carved away by Hampson’s voice, leading to the kind of compelling jumble of noise that acts as a flag-marker for this weird and wonderful collection of songs.
Dig in below, and dig deep – 50% of proceeds from Bandcamp sales will go to The Emergent Fund, an organization launched in the wake of the 2016 US election to support grassroots movements in marginalized communities.
Power Animal play a record release show on Nov 17th with Friendship, Tall Friend and Free Cake for Every Creature
at Everybody Hits in Philadelphia