Animal Years’ new EP ‘This Is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years’ cements the folk rock trio’s return with a spirited and triumphant five-song set that roars to life with refreshing, fiery energy.
‘This Is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years’
New York City’s Animal Years are well on the way to making 2021 their year.
The band made a big splash in recent months with their charismatic singles “Talkin’ to You” and “What I’m Fighting For,” and now their first EP in four years’ time finds them reveling in sweet and soulful folk rock glory. An invigorating burst of bright and sweet heated music, Animal Years’ This Is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years cements the trio’s return with a spirited and triumphant five-song set that roars to life with refreshing, fiery energy.
All of this love I give, I give
well it seems you’re coming home again
Every time I think that’s it
now it seems I’m gonna let you in
For all of these years I’ve been trying
to find the words and get it off my chest
Then you just come on in on in
leave destruction like the day you left
Well I’ve been on the road, all alone
Thinking bout you, but you’ll never know
Talk to me, let me hear your voice
Make a promise like I have a choice
Say the words, that this love it hurts
That you left, and you felt, so sorry for that
That you tried, and failed, but wanna try again
And then, well I will let you in
I will let you in
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering This is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years, out everywhere February 26, 2021. The first teaser set off the band’s forthcoming sophomore album This Is an Album Called Animal Years solidifies Animal Years’ return with the songs “What I’m Fighting For,” “Let You In,” “Talkin to You,” “Haines St. Station,” and “Nobody Can Stop Me.” This EP will be followed by Pt. II on 5/21, and the full album on 6/18).
The band’s first full length record since their 2014 debut Sun Will Rise heralds an exciting return for the trio of Mike McFadden (lead vocals, guitar), Anthony Saladino (bass), and Anthony Spinnato (drums), who recently transitioned to living half in Nashville and half in New York. Earlier this year, Atwood Magazine welcomed Animal Years’ late 2020 single “Talkin’ to You” as a successful return to form, praising it as “an undeniably dynamic, feverish, and spirited rock revelry.”
They followed up in late January with crunchy guitars and Mike McFadden’s evocative vocals guiding the way in “What I’m Fighting For,” yet another fiery rush of feeling and fervor from a band that personifies the word perseverance. McFadden’s dynamic chorus says everything they’ve worked so hard toward: “Thought of giving up before, then I wake up and l want some more,” he sings with gut-wrenching verve. “So every time l get knocked down, say ‘I will not give up on what I’m fighting for’.“
Well I’ve been so lost
In a world that l used to know
And I’ve been too far gone
They tried to tell me l lost control
I gave it all up but I’ll never give in
I’ll never give up what l have grown
Well I’ve been thinking bout the words I’ve found and
The pavement that I’ve pounded
Thought of giving up before then
I wake up and l want some more yeah
So every time l get knocked down say
I will not give up on what I’m fighting for
“When everything was up in the air about our future as a band, I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to always keep going and pursuing music no matter what life decided to throw our way,” McFadden said of “What I’m Fighting For.” “The dramatic chord changes and lyrics, ‘I will not give up on what I’m fighting for,’ are designed to get you fired up. A nurse in a COVID unit, someone who’s been rejected for a job, a person battling illness… I hope anyone who listens to this song can use it to their advantage.”
Animal Years’ first two songs captured a steadfast attitude – that trailblazing mindset that refuses to quit, moving forward at all costs.
Their EP’s remaining three tracks echo this radiant confidence and heart-on-sleeve sincerity: “Let You In” is a gritty explosion of intimate feeling, “Haines St. Station” is a brooding slow-burner full of bluesy charm, and EP closer “Nobody Can Stop Me” channels their infallible, resilient attitude into a buoyant, celebratory folk pop anthem.
Animal Years are back in style, and with much more in store for the coming months, the band are well on their way to rising higher than ever before. Stream This is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and dive into the depths of this resounding return with Animal Years in our interview and song guide below!
This is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years is out everywhere February 26, 2021.
‘This Is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years’
CATCHING UP WITH ANIMAL YEARS
What was your vision going into this record? Did that change over the course of recording this?
Anthony Spinnato: We really went in there with the mindset that we didn’t have a specific goal and wanted to to go with whatever felt natural. We had 16 tunes ready to record, with no order, title or theme at all in mind… we expected to come out with 9 or 10 rough mixes but we ended up recording and mixing 12 songs total. The songs range from ones we have been performing for years to ones we were finishing up right before/in the studio. The record has so many different sounds and we tried as hard as we could to make it all fit together.
How do you feel the new songs reintroduces you and captures Animal Years' artistry in 2021?
Spinnato: The album is all over the place and truly shows how Mike’s writing is undeniably strong in a variety of styles. The thing that ties it all together is his voice and the guitar-driven accompaniment.
Comparing these songs to your debut album and EP, what changes do you personally hear in your sound and the band's growth over time?
Spinnato: A lot of these songs were written on the road as we were touring or growing in the NYC music scene. Sun Will Rise and Far From Home have a similar singer/ songwriter style and we’ve even been called a country group in the past. Anyone who has seen us live knows that while we’re true to our roots with Mike’s singer-songwriter sound, we’re more of a stadium rock act, and these songs feel more appropriate. People that know us only for the song “Caroline,” driven by the acoustic guitar and tambourine, will find the same songwriter sound, with the energy and amplifiers cranked way the fuck up.
Do you have any favorite lyrics in these songs?
Mike McFadden: “Haines St. Station” is probably my favorite amongst the bunch and that’s probably because I ditched the general themes of most of my writing and wrote about a very specific event. Sometimes I’ll even take a personal song and write it from a different perspective so I don’t have to feel SO vulnerable singing about such a personal thing. But with this one l dug my heels in and just said what was really on my mind on that day. It’s probably the reason the song was one of my few that was written so quickly.
What are you most excited about getting these first couple of tracks out there into the world?
McFadden: We haven’t released anything since 2017 so just releasing something is an absolute thrill. If you’re a hardcore Animal Years fan that has followed us all the way from our humble beginnings or a brand new listener, we feel like you will connect to these songs. Our older fans know we tend to evolve and change so this is going to be a real treat for them and we’re pumped to show them that we still can and will!
Take me track-by-track through This is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years.
What I’m Fighting For
“What I’m Fighting For” is one of those songs that l had to write for myself. A couple years back, everything was up in the air about our future as a band. I wanted this song to be there as a reminder to myself to always keep going and pursuing music no matter what life decided to throw our way.
I made sure to make the lyrics general enough so that anyone else who was struggling with issues in their life could apply this song to what they were going through. The dramatic chord changes in the chorus along with the last line “I will not give up on what I’m fighting for” is really designed to get you fired the fuck up. So a nurse in a COVID unit, someone who keeps getting rejected for a job or a team, a person battling illness. I hope anyone can listen to this song and use it to their advantage!
Let You In
This song came about after I saw a friend struggling with an on again, off again relationship. They were struggling with having their partner accepting who they were as an artist and coming to terms with what their relationship was “supposed” to be like. In the song, the friend is asking the person to admit they’re wrong, recognize reality, and understand that love is only about two people and not about their status and how they appeal to others. It’s also about acknowledging that the relationship is going to be difficult at times no matter what, regardless of what you’re trying to pursue in life.
Talkin’ To You
The song is based around that classic theme of “look at me now”. I always had supportive people in my life and l wanted to right a song for anyone who succeeded past someone else’s expectations. It’s a direct F*** You to the person who didn’t believe in them and then came crawling back when they succeeded.
“Talkin’ To You” was our first foray into a real 100% pop song. I wanted a memorable tagline that the audience could easily identify even if they had never heard the song before. When we were on the road we would have fans who had never heard the song singing the chorus by the end of it. That was the goal.
Haines St. Station
This is one of those songs for me where I got very specific with a difficult moment in my life. It was a pact I made with myself instantly after I experienced this that I put down on paper to attempt to start the healing process. It was almost like I was warning myself exactly what was going to happen and bracing myself for impact. First I wrote down all the things that would be hard and I go through them one by one. Then at the very end I assure myself that things will get better and I’ll find someone else. When musicians say that songwriting and playing music is their form of therapy, I think this song is a testament to that. I needed to write down these things and assure myself that things would be hard but they would get better. And now every time I play this song, I still get the chills thinking back to that time and how I was able to get through that moment with this song.
Nobody Can Stop Me
“Nobody Can Stop Me” has always been the odd man out on this record. We wanted to try something we had never done before and wanted to have fun doing it. This was one of the few songs that came together right before/during the recording of this record. I wanted big gang vocals and I wanted to continue on this motivational songwriting kick I was on. I don’t feel like I’m going to be staring in a mirror anytime soon, repeating positive affirmations, so coming out in a song and saying things like “Nobody Can Stop Me” really does the trick for me. I also wanted to continue my general rule of using widely accepted themes that anyone can apply to the challenges that they are facing in their life.
‘This Is Part One of an Album Called Animal Years’
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📸 © Kelsey Runge
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