Take cues from your idols long enough and you might just outlive them and sound unique all your own. Kyoto’s New House have made no secret that a lot of their sonic cues come from American outfit Animal Collective, and their sophomore album Kaleidoscopic Anima continues to find the outfit exploring the campfire-side, howling, semi-psychedelic plan that Brooklyn outfit defined in the 2000s. The trick, though, is that last time Animal Collective shared music with the world, they sounded nothing like Animal Collective (that would be 2012’s Centipede Hz, an album that sounded like a mess then and hasn’t aged any better). New House, meanwhile, haven’t budged for the most part.
They take to this sound well, and in many cases nudge it towards new territory here. “Do Splash Happy” is a lively affair, and features rollicking percussion and an element of surprise courtesy of the guitar. The slowly unfolding “Landscape” forces them to try out all sorts of interesting new sounds (like what sounds like a plastic frog ribbiting…but it fits in the song!), and “Sunset Mirage” layers the vocals on top of one another to create a fantastic sound. Still, the bulk of this album sounds like Animal Collective…most prominently, their lead singer sounds a lot like Panda Bear AND Avey Tare, which is insane…and you can really make your judgement of this album based on whatever your opinion of New House’s biggest influence was (unless you never heard them, of course, then dive in).
I personally fall in the category of someone who loved Animal Collective as a college student but has felt very little need to revisit them in the last four years…so I enjoy this New House album, albeit in a pleasant “oh yeah, this sound!” kind of way, that does not guarantee repeated listens as the year drags on. Again, New House pull this off well…but a little surprise would be welcome. Listen below or get it here.