Animal Collective’s debut album Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished came out nearly 23 years ago, though when it came out it was only credited to Avey Tare (David Portner) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), and really it’s mostly an Avey Tare solo album. They’ve released a reissue of the album with an EP of requisite bonus tracks, given its own title, A Night At Mr. Raindrop’s Holistic Supermarket. Included in this EP of outtakes is a pretty radical cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Of course, “pretty radical” is what you would expect from Animal Collective.
Their version begins completely unrecognizably, with atonal percussion (which sounds like chimes) and then a deep bass part and a looped voice. When Portner’s voice comes in, he’s singing the lyric a little slower and slightly off kilter. The vocal is a little closer but Portner goes out of his way to drag out the chorus and prevent the inevitable singalong. Though, as the cover progresses, he does sometimes stray a little closer to the original phrasing.
It’s a radical rethinking that often feels more like an Animal Collective original than a Fleetwood Mac cover. Check it out: