Animal Collective’s “Defeat” Is A Hopeful 22-Minute Epic

[Cover photo credit to Hisham Akira Bharoocha]

Animal Collective have released new single “Defeat” which was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington, The Roots) and clocks in at 22 minutes. The song is intentionally “epic” and “an unapologetic ode to perseverance and hope.” It builds to the suggestion that the future may hold “a quieter place where we can thrive together, not apart.”

“Defeat” features guest musicians Samara Lubelski (violin), Leila Bordreuil (cello), and Ben Chapoteau-Katz (saxophone). The track will be released as a limited edition 12-inch on August 25, 2023 and will feature the B-side “The Challenge (Live Edit).”

“The Challenge” is a completely improvised track that has only been played in front of a live audience and originated as an unrehearsed intro to the song “Strung With Everything” while the band was on on tour last year. The recorded version that appears on the 12-inch was “collaged” together from 11 different shows between March and September of 2022.

Geologist says:

The only time it was even discussed was after shows late in the touring cycle when it took on its own identity. ‘How did we feel about the Strung intro?’ often provided the answer to ‘how was the show?’ But the discussion always ended at what happened that night, without any detailed critique, and never with how it might happen the next. We became aware the same discussions were happening amongst our fans, who were recording, uploading and listening to the shows each night. They took notice and named the section ‘The Challenge.’ This edit is for them.

“Defeat” single artwork
Painting by Lauren Luloff, Backwards Question, 2023 dyed silk
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