Animal Collective co-frontperson Avey Tare’s music is what you might get if you crossed a ’60s singer-songwriter with the hermetic sound-sculpting of a hip-hop or techno producer. Started during the pandemic isolation of 2020, 7s touches on bossa nova (“Lips at Night”), pop funk (“The Musical”), and the wobbly beats of British dance music (“Hey Bog”) with a sense of wonder and omnivorousness that has always made his and his band’s music special. It also highlights his capacity to tweak every little fragment of audio—human, synthetic, and otherwise—into a shape just beyond recognition. And like the psychedelic states it obliquely invokes, the album’s gentleness is offset by the threat of something perpetually lurking at its periphery, whether it’s the dissonance of “Cloud Stop Rest Start” or the haze lingering over “Sweeper’s Grin.” Avey Tare has never been an artist to listen to for lyrics, but take heed to the implications of what he says on “The Musical”: He doesn’t write songs; he makes sound.

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