Things you need to know about Animal Collective:

1) The words “campfire” and “psych” are used a lot to describe this band. These are cliches. They mean nothing.

2) At least one band member still proudly wears an Orioles hat. The band members went to high school in the Baltimore area.

3) They used to be a band that was hard to love. The yelp-y messes posing as songs meant you could only appreciate what they were trying to do. But with Sung Tongs and Feels, they began to give their messes some shape. Some of those shapes were colorful. Some of those shapes turned out to be long drones with wacky titles. Brent Burton wrote a damn fine review of Feels for City Paper; you can read it here.

4) Strawberry Jam, the band’s upcoming full length, shows the band stepping away from their more primitive experiments and writing full-on electronic-based experiments. It’s almost a dance record if the Flaming Lips made a dance record. OK. Not a great line. But I’ve only listened to it once. It still blew me away. You can hear some of the new songs here and here.

5) Animal Collective just announced it will be playing the 9:30 Club on September 28.