Our favorite botanist Mike McFadden (vocals) and his incredible bandmates are releasing their full-length in three parts. Of the project, he admitted: “We had this patchwork of songs that had never quite fit on other projects and when we looked at them all together, we realized that the songs told a story.” This is Part One of An Album Called Animal Years is the first installment, and was just released.
Comprised of five tracks, it truly ignites magic in the air as it picks up pace, McFadden’s vocal control and manipulation something otherworldly from the very first notes, 7 seconds into the first track “What I’m Fighting For.” And relatable from that very moment as well, with the first line “I’ve been so lost in the world that I used to know” something that pretty much anyone can understand, especially post-pandemic life. This song has the energy of an anthem, and that feels right for now.
“Let You In” is definitely a low-key country ballad that teeters on theatrical in a captivating way, while “Talkin’ To You” is a more hard-hitting love song. There is a bit of an attitude to the instrumentation in the track, the true twine holding each piece together residing in the soulful vocals provided by three-part harmony and admirable vocal range. So much talent in one collection of music, it’s almost not fair.
“Haines St. Station” slows everything down to the most bluesy, beautiful pace we have heard in quite a while. A song that discusses boundaries, insecurities, and doubts in an open environment, it feels a bit cathartic to enjoy this track in particular. And then the trio brings it home with a very inspiring track, upbeat and quite sticky sweet “Nobody Can Stop Me.” We’re fans, and we’re going to keep that one in our back pocket for the strange moments when we stumble. The energy is invigorating.
While “White Flag” is originally a fast-tempo triumph by Oregon-based trio Joseph about shutting out the noise of the world and putting one foot in front of the other, Animal Years, an indie band from Brooklyn, have released their updated take on the track. Recorded live in Nashville, the band’s cover could not be coming at a more opportune time. Putting one foot in front of the other has sort of become a motto the world has been trying to live by the entire year, and Animal Years are no different.
The live cover features a significantly slowed down tempo, one that brings the audience closer to not only the band’s performance but the lyrics of the song as well. The personalized aspect is an important part of the music listening experience, especially for a song with a message like this one. As the track brings you close to the band, it begins to feel as though the band themselves are whispering in your ear and giving you the push you need to keep going. With a tune layered with beautiful harmonies and gentle guitar strums, Animal Years are here for you.
The video was recorded live at Marathon Music Works. Animal Years has admired Joseph since seeing their Tiny Desk session in 2017.
In October, Brooklyn’s americana rock trio Animal Years – comprised of Mike McFadden (vocals, guitar), Anthony Saladino (bass), and Anthony Spinnato (drums) – released the music video for their widely praised single “Caroline” in the lead up to the release of their new EP, Far From Home. The EP – which is made up of five soulful, intricate tracks – was produced by Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, Vance Joy) came out on October 27th via eOne Records.
“Caroline” begins the EP with an upbeat ring to it – despite the bittersweet, self-aware lyrics – allowing the listener to just about float over the country-tinged vocals and light, acoustic instrumentals. “Friends” slows everything down initially, but when it hits the beat it really gets your hips swinging as it addresses the importance of a warm and rich support system. And while “Give It Up” really gets you grooving, it paves the way for a slow down with “Corinth”, which is widely defined by its deeper guitar work, percussion, and flat out deeper vocals. Singing from a darker place (“I’m drowning in the deep end”), looking toward a silver lining (“I think I can win her”) will do that to you. “Home” is the perfect silver lining to it all, however, as the lyrics reflect on the darker times – perhaps in tandem with the flow of the album – while simultaneously appreciating any hint of good fortune. It’s the perfect place to land, truly tying it all together and making the sound space feel just like that. Like home.
Far From Home is out now. Keep up with the trio here.