"Centipede Hz,” Animal Collective’s ninth album, made its official debut less than a week ago, but a mere 24 hours after the album’s release, the experimental indie rockers dropped yet another new track—the marvelously titled “Crimson.” Though the word has many connotations, we at The Harvard Crimson suspect that they're actually paying tribute to the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper—and not for the first time either. Read on for a list of songs in which we uncover all the sneaky ways in which Animal Collective has paid homage to the Harvard Crimson over the years.
"Who Could Win A Rabbit" from the Animal Collective album "Sung Tongs"
Lyrically, this track is about as impenetrable as a brick wall, yet it's performed so exuberantly it exudes pure, manic joy. It's a feeling that we invariably associate with our beloved broadsheet, and we're certain that the boys in Animal Collective feel the same way—why else would they open the track with a muddled voice yelling “newspapers, newspapers?”
Did You See the Words from the album "Feels"
Another song with lyrics that tend towards the opaque, but the title tells the whole story; what words could they be referring to besides those in the Crimson?
Take Pills from the Panda Bear album "Person Pitch"
This is actually a solo track from AnCo stalwart Panda Bear, and as such it's a bit of departure from the band’s usual style. That doesn't mean there's no Crimson influence; rather, “Take Pills,” with its despairing view of anti-depressants and prescription drugs, must be a salute to the numerous times that the Crimson has reported on the abuse of Adderall.
Derek from Animal Collective's 2007 album "Strawberry Jam"
In this bouncy song, the members of AnCo show their more critical side, using most of the track's three-minute length to vaguely attack a character named Derek. Such a position was no doubt informed by the Crimson's frequent criticism of Derek Bok, the university's president from 1971 to 1991.
Leaf House from "Sung Tongs"
Though Currier House's mascot is a tree rather than a leaf, it's doubtful this track could refer to anything but Audrey Bruce's namesake. The inspiration becomes even more evident if one considers how its jubilant tone aligns with the Crimson's praise for Currier's dining hall, housing, and house spirit.