Animal Collective merchandise
In 2000, in New York City, Avey Tare (aka David Porter) and Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) established Animal Collective with the issue of Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished on their own Animal imprint. It was the first of a flurry of captivating, occasionally frustrating releases exploring the fringes and intersecting boundaries of folk, noise rock, ambient drone, twisted psychedelia, and, ultimately, pure melody. Joined by their friends Geologist (aka Brian Weitz) and Deaken (aka Conrad Deaken), Tare and Panda Bear released Danse Manatee (Catsup Plate) in 2001, followed by a live release documenting their debut tour with Black Dice. Here Comes the Indian (Paw Tracks) was issued in 2003 to considerable acclaim, and the Collective backed it up with the droning, folky simmer of Campfire Songs, again for Catsup Plate. (FatCat also became the group's European sponsor, issuing their first two albums as a package and signing them for future releases.) Animal Collective returned in May 2004 with Sung Tongs, a mysterious, fragilely melodic album that garnered even more critical acclaim and spawned a series of tours. Panda Bear issued Young Prayer, his solo debut, in September 2004. The Prospect Hummer EP, which featured a collaboration with Vashti Bunyan, appeared in May 2005, and the full-length Feels followed in October of that year.