Dear Will Hermes of the NYTimes:
In this weekend’s Arts & Leisure section, you’ve written something on ‘freak folk,’ meaning those currrent, genre-less music acts like Joanna Newsom, Devendra, Espers, Juana Molina, etc.
Anyone attempting to do journalistic justice to a musical genre, any genre, has to leave something out, or someone, just due to space concerns. I’m sympathetic on that front. You weren’t writing a book.
But to write something introductory about the emerging ‘freak folk’ genre and not mention Animal Collective at all? Oversight: Major. Makes your entire article dismissable. It’s like writing briefly about cubism and omitting Braque. Please do your homework, or do your Jayson Blair impression elsewhere.
You even wax effusive about Vashti Bunyan, she of the comeback-after-dropping-one-great record-in-1971. Animal Collective have been instrumental in her resurrection (pun intended), to the point of having recorded an EP with her in 2005. Wasn’t strong, had moments. Check it via one track:
And here’s one from their much better Sung Tongs (2004) which my daughter calls ‘the monkey song:’
J Frank P