Review by Ellie Garno
Last week in Brooklyn, Americana pop rockers Animal Years released “Give It Up,” the lead single from their upcoming second EP, dropping in early 2016. Since Sun Will Rise EP (2014), Animal Years has been featured on American Songwriter, Filter, and When The Gramophone Rings and performed at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, and Gramercy Theatre, sharing the stage with the likes of Martin Sexton and the Robert Randolph and the Family Band. With their newest single, the boys of Animal Years—Mike McFadden (lead vocals, guitar, banjo), Anthony Saladino (bass) and Anthony Spinnato (drums)—offer avidly awaiting listeners a taste of their most original blend of country, pop, and rock.
The banjo, ethereal background vocals, and clicking of drumsticks, “Give It Up” pretty much has it all. (Recommended for any and all who like The Avett Brothers, My Morning Jacket, and Kings of Leon.) But smooth ringing guitars, both acoustic and electric, lay the foundation for the song. The overall brightness of “Give It Up,” however, is contradicted by its dark lyrics, which involve two people who struggle to communicate with each other; instead of telling the truth, they dance around the issue, while things just get worse. “Give it up if you want it/It’s all in my head,” sings McFadden, with strength, ease and just enough twang. The mind is busy, and what’s past is prologue.