Long Neck Deliver Simple, Clever “Soft Animal”

Long Neck are back with their latest album, “Soft Animal,” their latest endeavor in making soft folk music with emotionally charged songwriting. The band’s been working hard making this style of music for a long time now, and this continues with their latest work. So far, they’ve excelled at it, but does “Soft Animal,” continue their success so far? Read on to find out.

As we said earlier, “Soft Animal,” is a folk album, and as such the album is mostly made up of more simple arrangements. Arrangements are left mostly simple, with only the most essential instruments being left in the mix. That means a majority of the album is taken up by piano, violin, and  other softer instruments, though everything’s mixed very nicely.

Occasionally, some more experimental touches are added though, especially on songs like “558.” More synths get thrown into the mix, giving the song a more industrial feel. Generally, Long Neck do a  fantastic job of making sure everything sounds unique despite most songs sharing similar instruments. Any more creative changes are appreciated, but thankfully they don’t overstay their welcome.

Songwriting here is also some really pleasant and clever stuff. Most of the songs are emotionally charged, providing a nice contrast to the relaxed vibe. Songs like “Crabby,” and “Gardener,” make great use of clever songwriting, adding a lot of interesting flourishes to what are otherwise pretty simple songs.

Lily Mastrodimos carries the songs, with her delivery being a key selling point of the album. Every word she sings carries tons of emotion and sadness. Her voice is soft and appealing, but the emotional gravitas and clever songwriting keeps it interesting and not too somber. It also certainly helps that the album likes to change things up every now and then.

It’s this aspect of the album that keeps it fun to listen to the whole way through. Although it makes heavy use of folk sensibilities, it also keeps things fresh by adding a lot of different elements to the album. Throughout its run time, there isn’t a single dull moment.

In conclusion, “Soft Animal,” is a good, if not great little folk album, one of the better ones in recent years. Long Neck gives us a lot to like with this album, and there’s also very little to complain about. It changes things up just enough to keep the listening experience interesting, while also maintaining a strong identity and most importantly, it sounds good.