The official Animal Collective Web site was recently updated with a mysterious, mind-melting, wallpaper-like pop-up jpeg, which we've just received confirmation is the cover for their highly anticipated album Merriweather Post Pavilion, due out January 20, 2009.
Stare at it long enough and you'll see a unicorn.
But, seriously, does this artwork remind anyone else of those 3D Magic Eye posters that The Nature Company used to sell? In honor of my 14-year-old mallrat self ("Mom, I'll meet you in the LaserDisc section of Saturday Matinee!"), I just spent the last 15 minutes starting at this album cover, and here are 10 images that have emerged while my bleary eyes studied the pattern:
1. A baseball player sliding into third base
2. R2-D2, Bob Marley and Ryan Seacrest at the Last Supper
3. The letters "JFSJJY"
5. That old-timey picture of the sailor kissing the lady
6. A huge image of a ribbon that Elton John would wear on his lapel at an awards show
7. OMG, IT'S MOVING!
8. EEK, IT'S PULSATING!
9. MAKE IT STOP!!
10. Soybeans floating on a puddle of oil
Sigh. I was never good at optical illusions.
Regardless of what the artwork represents, this makes me even more stoked to hear the album. Rumor has it, the Animal boys were heavily influenced by hip-hop beats while in the studio. Does that mean a Lil Wayne/ Panda Bear collaboration is in the stars?
I want to know what you see when you take in the glory of the Merriweather Post Pavilion cover. And while you ponder the significance, check out this piece MTV News did on the boundary-pushing band right before their last album, Strawberry Jam, hit stores (and blew my mind). Gotta love those explosion graphics we used to use.