It’s not often Matt and I get to tackle our inbox at the same time. But with us both in Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival, we decided to offer our combined thoughts on this stellar new song from New Animal.
“Lift You Up” is sort of like a cool summer breeze. It gently wafts over your skin, tickles the hairs on your arm and then, with you feeling refreshed, it’s gone to let you bask in its absence. That piano melody wanders in and gets you hooked, and then the other layers are added gradually. New Animal are a talented duo out of Atlanta, and I imagine the sweltering seasonal heat wave in the south has something to do with this new song’s mood. The pair have already released a 15-song LP and an additional EP this year, and have generated a fair amount of buzz. Rightfully so, as Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette continue to produce quality music at an impressive rate.
The song feels a bit hazy from start to finish; there’s a sheen over the entire thing. If it were a photograph, it’d likely be soft and slightly out of focus. Hermstad and Burdette have shown an ability to move from psychpop to folkish lo-fi to guitar-heavy jams, and points in between. And “Lift You Up” is a new wrinkle. It feels calmer than a lot of what I’ve heard from them so far. It fades out just as gently as it came in, leaving a lovely ringing in one’s ears.
“Lift You Up” instantly appears in my mind like vintage footage of a ball from decades past in a parallel world. With the entrance of the piano step and the flourishes on the strings in the very first seconds, it’s almost like we suddenly came across a choreographed scene of creatures in full regalia dancing and pivoting across a candle lit floor. Hermstad and Burdette have a talent for the understated: with a handful of simple ideas, placed in just the right sequences, “Lift You Up” becomes a 35mm, banjo-cycling, veneered promenade espied through a hole in the wall. And when the you turn and walk away, you can still hear the music fading into the past.
And in a completely oddball way, the video for “Lift You Up” gives the song a whole new meaning. Soak them both in below.
—Sean and Matt