Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished

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Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
Spirit they've gone.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 2000
RecordedMay – September 1999
Avey Tare chronology
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
Danse Manatee
Panda Bear chronology
Panda Bear
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
Danse Manatee
Animal Collective chronology
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished
Danse Manatee
Alternative cover
2003 reissue cover
2003 reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Mojo5/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[5]
Tiny Mix Tapes5/5[3]

Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished is the first collaborative studio album by Avey Tare (David Portner) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), released in August 2000. It was later retroactively classified as the debut album by experimental pop band Animal Collective; the album was first released as a CD on the band's own Animal label (now known as Paw Tracks) with only 2000 copies produced.

It was reissued as a double CD along with Danse Manatee in 2003 on FatCat Records, and later on limited edition vinyl through FatCat. Both UK and US pressings used DMM mastering.


All of the songs were written by Avey Tare (David Portner) from 1997 to 1999, except for "Penny Dreadfuls" which was written when he was 16 years old; the process was strongly inspired by his move from Baltimore to New York, which he described as a "dark time" with Brian Weitz (Geologist) being his only friend in the city.[6] Portner and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) recorded the acoustic guitar and the drums live onto a Tascam 48 eight-track reel-to-reel in Portner's bedroom in Maryland during the summer of 1999; the piano songs along with overdubs were recorded in Portner's parents' living room. Portner wanted the guitar to be "jangled to create this fluttering feeling".[7]

An old Roland SH-2 synthesizer, which Weitz's brother found stored in a camp, was used for the bass sounds;[8] the drums were played with brushes to emulate the albums Ocean Rain and Forever Changes.[citation needed] Avey Tare would dictate what he wanted the rhythm to be through beatboxing. Other sounds, such as the majority of "Spirit They've Vanished", were created through the use of feedback loops.

Future Animal Collective member Deakin (Josh Dibb) helped with the promotion and sent packages to record companies. Portner recalled, "Southern Records called us back immediately and said ‘Is there something wrong with this? This music makes our dogs run out of the room’!"[7]


The original cover art was found by Avey Tare, who considered it fitting; the art was later discovered to be an illustration by Dorothy P. Lathrop from the book Stars To-Night: Verses New and Old for Boys and Girls by Sara Teasdale. The album was intended to be released under Avey Tare's name alone, but he was so impressed by Panda Bear's drumming that he added Panda's name on the front cover; this method of choosing monikers for Animal Collective's recorded output—naming themselves after who played on each respective album—would last until 2003's Campfire Songs.

Included with the original release was an insert with the following story:

The title is a quote uttered by Mr. Magoo in Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Track listing[edit]

1."Spirit They've Vanished"5:35
2."April and the Phantom"5:53
4."Penny Dreadfuls"7:58
5."Chocolate Girl"8:28
6."Everyone Whistling"1:00
7."La Rapet"7:52
8."Bat You'll Fly"5:03
9."Someday I'll Grow to Be as Tall as the Giant"3:10
10."Alvin Row"12:39
Total length:60:38

There has been some confusion about the album's track listing. On the original, limited release, the untitled track #3 was not listed along with the other songs. Since the track listing gave no corresponding track numbers to the rest of the songs, it was incorrectly assumed that tracks #3-9 were actually titled as tracks #4-10 are here, and that "Alvin Row" had no title; this error appears in nearly every review of Spirit following its initial release in 2000. The 2003 FatCat reissue cleared up this misunderstanding by numbering the songs and leaving a blank space for track #3.



  1. ^ a b c Sirota, Brent S. (August 1, 2000). "Animal Collective: Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Couture, François. "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished – Avey Tare / Panda Bear / Animal Collective". AllMusic. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Leveer. "Animal Collective – Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Animal Collective: Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished / Danse Manatee". Mojo (119): 111. October 2003.
  5. ^ "Animal Collective: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Harvell, Jess. "Out Of The Woods: Animal Collective Beats A Path From Baltimore County To Indie Fame", Baltimore City Paper, October 19, 2005. Retrieved on July 5, 2010.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b MOTHER NATURE’S SONS: Animal Collective and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti by Simon Reynolds, The Wire, 2005
  8. ^ post by Dave Portner under the username "wheeter" (2006), Questions for the Collective: Bass in Spirit They're Gone..., Collected Animals, archived from the original on July 20, 2011, retrieved July 22, 2013