Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam (2007)
While 2009’s ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ is often regarded as peak Animal Collective – and it sure is a classic – this one tends to be overlooked. In hindsight, ‘Strawberry Jam’ is an obvious transfer from their wild, lo-fi early work to the almost-pop music of recent years. The best of both worlds, it’s extremely experimental and free while not once becoming too challenging to the ears. You’ll even find yourself singing – or shouting – along. Highlight ‘For Reverend Green’ comes close to being too much, too intense, but that’s exactly why it’s so rewarding. Patiently spread-out rhythms and vibes, hypnotic chants interspersed with ad-libs and cries: this is the ultimate indie psych record.
Best song: For Reverend Green