Animal Feelings

by Rafter

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1.
for all of your boldness for all your coldness for all of the things that you tried but never showed anyone never showed anyone whoa for all your mistakes and all your pain all of your sadness and all of the broken pieces of your brain that will never change whoa no fucking around for all of your triumph for all your successes for all of the things that people look to you to do that only you can do i raise my glass to you whoa for your inner beauty for your sensitivities for all your gladness and the magic pieces of your brain fortunately those things also will never change whoa so take it to the chorus no fucking around
2.
A Frame 03:28
i'm doing counting but the numbers are against me ran out of fingers, ran out of toes i'm doing counting cause there's safety in numbers HA! safety in numbers, we'll see how that goes a frame erect an a frame in our human lives now cause we both know that the triangle's the boss erect an a frame with our hearts and minds now heads lean together and arms held across a frame the world will try to knock us down rub our faces in the ground but we will hold eachother up you'll see, you'll see
3.
timeless form and formless time fast forward and rewind i've never heard this before so get your ass out on the floor i don't need anyone else in my arms but you, tonight you're my girl, and i love my girl mr vyas says it's all been done before but i never be-seen this before i've never heard this before (except for the part where i say) get your ass out on the floor i don't need anyone else in my arms but you, tonight cause you're my girl, and i love my girl i don't care for original thought cause i like you, i love you a lot i'm gonna sing about it now yeah, i'm gonna sing about it now cause it's a timeless for and formless time fast forward and rewind i know you've heard this before but still, follow me to the floor i don't need anyone else in my arms but you, tonight you're my girl, and i love my girl that girl's my girl, and i love my girl
4.
Fruit 04:26
i'm looking thru broken windows i'm poking fingers thru the cracks in the walls yer on the inside shovelling madly filling in gaps and avoiding calls but i know that you'd love me if you would share your fruit w/me will you share your fruit w/me? baby share your fruit w/me! will you share your fruit w/me? baby share your fruit w/me! ripe strawberry fell out thru the window watermelons are rolling thru the halls you're on the inside trying to hide it you can't hide it but i know that you'd love me if you would share your fruit w/me will you share your fruit w/me? baby share your fruit w/me! will you share your fruit w/me? baby share your fruit w/me!
5.
Feels Good 04:05
yr almost blind but you're lookin good scared your plastic but you're really wood and you're in tune with nature cause you're made from a natural thing id fall apart but i think i'm strong come and visit but the drive is long and it's in my nature to say that its a natural thing feels good i can't lie it's a physical thing the way you love me makes my senses sing you're up in my nature and that's why i wear a ring you own the space next to me at night and in the morning with the natural light of the sun coming round to give us another one feels good
6.
got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right in a strange city on the other side of the world, side of the world i feel awake i feel alive but i'm just thinkin' bout my girl, thinkin bout my girl animal, animal animal, animal got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right Since early years We try & try To push it down Disrupt, deny The toothy grin The flushing skin The animals that are living in Our hearts and minds Fronts and behinds Top to bottom we rewind To earlier days of blood and sex Before we were conflicted wrecks animal, animal animal, animal got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right got animal feelings and animal thoughts always keep it going on the right, right
7.
Paper 03:21
Paper and when you think you think some thoughts think some thoughts and then you let them go float away in the stream they take their leave so fast to leave they were here but now they're gone you motherfuckers you motherfuckers where did you go you mother fuckers you mother fuckers where did you go? i need some paper there's a man by the lake, he spends his days in shifty ways, catching rays (suspicious) of course it's the lake that's filled by the stream that carried your thoughts away (malicious) you motherfuckers you motherfuckers where did you go you mother fuckers you mother fuckers where did you go? i need some paper i need paper i need paper i need paper yes i do to keep my thoughts from going away to keep my thoughts from blowing away
8.
i been feeling lately like everyone is crazy blind eyes staring at the sun and blinking lazy i've been feeling lately like everyone is crazy except for you and me the world's acting hungry gonna eat everyone insatiability black teeth black tongue except for you and me whoa, we're never gonna die not that i mean to say that you and i will live forever contrarily i think we're dying fast, more dead than ever not that i mean to say that you and i will live forever but we'll never die we're getting lumps on lumps bam ba bam makes ow ow age takes our mistakes and fixes them in flesh now inscrutability implausibility it's only you and i whoa, we're never gonna die flashlight, flashlight turn on the light, turn on the light make it dark, go to bed rest your cluttered head things are swirling and colliding nothing ever felt so depressing and inspiring whoa, we're never gonna die
9.
Only You 01:21
for all your successes for all the things you do that only you can do only you only you only you
10.
your umbrella was broken by the rain you feel happy but you can't explain no'one asks but you say it anyway i'm having a gorgeous day cause love makes you happy when it's not making you sad the neighborhood kids set your car on fire so you ride your bike but you puncture your tire none of this can get you down cause you turned your frown upside down cause love makes you happy when it's not making you sad sometimes love makes you happy but other times it feels terrible, just terrible sometimes you wish you could just rip your heart out of your chest throw it on the ground and stomp on it till it stops beating and you never feel anything in it again but other times it feels AMAZING! like right now. right now. your umbrella was broken by the rain you feel happy but you can't explain no'one asks but you say it anyway i'm having a gorgeous day cause love makes you happy when it's not making you sad you know what? i love you! you know i love you and it makes me happy! cause love makes you happy when it's not making you sad
11.
incalculable sadness incalculable sadness incalculable sadness and awareness of death what am i s'posed to do next? incalculable love incalculable love incalculable love incalculable happiness and familial love but what am i supposed to do next? live in the moment live in the now i broke my head against the now now now and the moment and the moment it's here and then it's gone it's here and then it's gone and back again back again the moment is permanent beauty beauty it's hard to get the things that you love

about

Growing up in San Diego you hear kids toss around the name Rafter Roberts with a hushed kind of reverence. Little later those same kids get older and when the dude comes up in conversation, he's just that--a dude, a bro, a likable, lovable, redheaded guy you'll find dancing at the Whistle Stop with his lovely lady or just walkin' around in the good clean morning sunlight, smiling and healthy and right with the world.

The reverence I felt as an impressionable San Diego kid was for the albums the man produced and engineered. Black Heart Procession, Tristeza, Rocket from the Crypt, all the big guns were there. Later, he helmed records for folks like the Shaky Hands, the Fiery Furnaces, and label-mates Castanets, Sufjan Stevens, and DM Stith. (His credits are far too lengthy to list here but, let it be said, the guy has worked his share of wonders.)

Now, because he's not the type of man to toss his merits in your face, it might take a while for an impressionable San Diego kid to learn that Rafter makes his own solo music. From my own experience it was years before I knew the guy's personal stuff (aside from the excellent art-punk-pop duo Bunky.) For the vets and first-timers, then, welcome Animal Feelings, Rafter's fourth LP for Asthmatic Kitty, and watch as it comes busting out of the gate like a dozen thundering palominos carved from gold, alabaster, and pure stoke.

Animal Feelings is a pop record and we can front how all we listen to is "nothing but, y'know, noise and improv stuff, man," but let's not delude ourselves here; good, respectable pop music is earthly magic. We can talk artsy and we can drop names but at the end of the night it's not Merzbow or La Monte Young we're shouting out into the darkness while we speed-peddle our bikes, leaning face-forward into the wind, smiling with our wine buzz. It's POP. Like a trusted friend, a good pop song will stick with you all your life.

Animal Feelings is 11 pieces of R&B/pop fantastic. The record begins with "No Fucking Around" and Rafter talk-boxing the title line of the song. Set to a grooving, silky, R&B stomp straight out of Rihanna or D'angelo, Rafter sings "For all of your boldness/for all your coldness/for all of the things that you triiiiied but never showed anyone." The chorus is, of course, the title, with regular-Rafter and talkbox-Rafter dueting over sweaty, arena-ready sex-beats. (And the title of the song is a maxim here; where previous Rafter releases trafficked in feedback and noise-informed experimentation, this one struts cleanly from one balls-out jam to the next, speakers blowing, bodies moving, club lights flashing.)

The second track is "A Frame," a big, hulking electro stomp with regular drummer Andy Robillard (Gogogo Airheart, Enon, Album Leaf) holding it down. "Timeless Form, Formless Time" is an ode to taking your best girl out on the dancefloor. Up next is the hand-clap beauty "Fruit," the album's first single. Says Rafter, who recently married his sweetheart, photographer Lizeth Santos, the song is about their courtship. "Fruit" is pop songwriting at its best; economical, free of clutter, and fortified with lyrics that say something real.

The title of the next song, "Feels Good," could be another maxim for Animal Feelings. The four minute track is a slow, sexy, near-falsetto jam anchored by a nice minimalist Jackson 5 bassline. "Animal Feelings," the romping, hard-charging title track is up next. If this song were an animal it would be a rhinoceros, focused, single-minded, and forward-moving. But the DNA would be skewed and dosed to reflect the swinging grace and joy of a tree full of happy, chittering, crap-throwing apes. As the song hits its breakdown, Rafter veers into Dan Deacon singalong territory, and it's a house-party right up to the end. (A party that is, forever, all-inclusive. Scene hero that he is, Rafter's one of the most non-elitist guys you'll ever meet.)

"Paper" is up next, another FM-ready pop gem playfully sabotaged by Rafter's foul mouth. "Never Gonna Die" is a clicky, tropical, rainbow-spectrum jam with some of Rafter's best lyrics on the record. It's a Clash-flavored pep talk and an acceptance of death, a celebration of the love you can find before the big black comes down and knocks over your sandcastle for good.

As Animal Feelings runs its course, the simple, mantric interlude "Only You" starts with a wash of subdued noise, echoing the sentiment of the opening track, before the rude, brash "Love Makes You Happy" growls into the forefront with Rafter delineating a list of heinous shit that might ruin your day if being in love didn't overshadow it all. As a lyrical statement, it's an umbrella in a downpour. But there are holes in the canopy. Small ones. (Rafter's too smart to deal in black and white truths; there are no definites on the path of the fateless.)

Animal Feelings ends with the buoyant, spirited, shaker-heavy "Beauty, Beauty" and its look at the various slings and arrows that keep us from finding solace and direction. Like the rest of the record, it's a dancefloor smasher full of questions--and that's what makes Animal Feelings so good. It's the juxtaposition of great sex and wild introspection, of worrying about your life but knowing that, beyond all else, what you must do is stop bitching, grab somebody pretty, and dance until you feel right again, until you find your place in the world (or at least accept the violence of it.) There are no hard answers here because there are no hard answers. Animal Feelings is about livin' it out and looking for love while your days move forward; because your days will move forward and they'll move forward fast. It's how you fill up the in-between time that counts.

credits

released April 13, 2010

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about

Rafter San Diego, California

born, living, dying, noisily. california art pop. restlessly experimental but dedicated to pop formalism. redhead.

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