12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s left an indie label for Epic Records, little did they know a battle would ensue about how to release their sophomore effort. A deal was struck, and two versions were released: Animal, the band’s version, and Not Animal, the label’s preferred version. Whether this was a manufactured showdown or not, it’s a cool deal for serious fans, offering a total of 19 new tracks (five are shared between the two releases). For new fans, Not Animal is the place to start, as it’s more focused, brighter sounding, and generally more interesting. With instruments like banjo, melodica, lap steel and more, the eight-piece band has to work to stay on point, and nowhere is it more rewarding than in the slightly Flaming Lips-ish “A Children’s Crusade On Acid” or the gently frolicking “As Tall As Cliffs.” While “Shivers (I’ve Got ‘Em)” is built on mid-tempo chunks of guitars and “Pages Written On a Wall” churns in cinematic Technicolor with blaring horns and steely guitar riffs, much of the album has a softer, subdued feel to it. A hazy accordion and nervous, delicate strings linger behind “Holy Cow!” while “Real Naked Girls” is an airy, shapeshifting ballad that twinkles like big city lights viewed from a hillside. Conjuring Sufjan Stevens, “Broadripple Is Burning” is quietly mesmerizing, stripped down to Richard Edward’s plaintive voice, an acoustic guitar, and gentle background cooing by Emily Watkins.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s left an indie label for Epic Records, little did they know a battle would ensue about how to release their sophomore effort. A deal was struck, and two versions were released: Animal, the band’s version, and Not Animal, the label’s preferred version. Whether this was a manufactured showdown or not, it’s a cool deal for serious fans, offering a total of 19 new tracks (five are shared between the two releases). For new fans, Not Animal is the place to start, as it’s more focused, brighter sounding, and generally more interesting. With instruments like banjo, melodica, lap steel and more, the eight-piece band has to work to stay on point, and nowhere is it more rewarding than in the slightly Flaming Lips-ish “A Children’s Crusade On Acid” or the gently frolicking “As Tall As Cliffs.” While “Shivers (I’ve Got ‘Em)” is built on mid-tempo chunks of guitars and “Pages Written On a Wall” churns in cinematic Technicolor with blaring horns and steely guitar riffs, much of the album has a softer, subdued feel to it. A hazy accordion and nervous, delicate strings linger behind “Holy Cow!” while “Real Naked Girls” is an airy, shapeshifting ballad that twinkles like big city lights viewed from a hillside. Conjuring Sufjan Stevens, “Broadripple Is Burning” is quietly mesmerizing, stripped down to Richard Edward’s plaintive voice, an acoustic guitar, and gentle background cooing by Emily Watkins.

TITLE TIME

More By Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

You May Also Like