Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Yes, it’s a jpeg successfully masquerading as a gif.
Merriweather Post Pavilion is the 8th studio album by Animal Collective and is already being acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year.
The much-anticipated and now celebrated album boast trippy cover art inspired by the work of Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka.
Kitaoke started working on rats and then monkeys to earn his PHD in animal psychology, before moving on in the nineties to study “visual perception and visual illusions of geometrical shape, brightness, color, in motion illusions and other visual phenomena like Gestalt completion and perceptual transparency, based on a modern conception of Gestalt Psychology.”
As a result, he’s created heaps of incredible visual illusions.
Writing in Pop Dose, Taylor Long observes that the “optical illusion cover for Animal Collective’s latest and eighth release, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is more than something fun to look at while under the influence of the sort of drugs you might like to be on while listening to it. Curves of bright green ovals on a purple background, they appear to be in motion when we know they’re stationary. It’s an apt representation of the album’s dueling thematic components: fantasy versus reality, whimsy vs obligation, restlessness versus tranquility.”
Or as a fan succinctly puts it on the Something Awful forums: “I dunno, that album cover looks pretty much how Animal Collective sounds”.
For me it evokes other associations. Do you remember those awful magic eye pictures that ruled the world for a few months in the early 90’s? Basically they were just a messy, indistinguishable shape but if you looked at them in a certain way and concentrated, a 3D shape would pop out.
I was in primary school when they became popular and I had real trouble seeing the hidden image. Other people would take one glance and then be all like: “Oh yeah, it’s a plane.” Meanwhile I squinted, held them close to my eyes and then pulled them away slowly; tried crossing my eyes and uncrossing them. After a protracted period I might finally make out the hidden image but not before suffering derision for my evident lack of insight.
I imagine for many that it’s like this with indie music. A bunch of cool kids hear an unusual band and get busy loving them, while a clueless and somewhat frustrated majority try to make out what’s so special.