Sung Tongs is the fifth studio album by American experimental pop band Animal Collective, released on May 3, 2004 by FatCat Records. The album, newly exploring freak folk,[1] received high critical reception upon its release and was featured in best-of lists at the end of 2004 and the decade of the 2000s. Only two of the band's four members play on the album, Avey Tare (David Portner) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), a first since Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000), which was originally credited to the duo and only later retroactively classified as part of the band's discography.

Sung Tongs
Sung Tongs (Front Cover).png
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 3, 2004
RecordedSeptember 7–28, 2003
StudioHades (Lamar, Colorado)
ProducerAnimal Collective
Animal Collective chronology
Here Comes the Indian
Sung Tongs
Prospect Hummer
Singles from Sung Tongs
  1. "Who Could Win a Rabbit"
    Released: July 19, 2004


Portner and Lennox both moved into a house in rural Colorado for the recording sessions for Sung Tongs, with Portner saying that much of it involved "Lots of singing and messing around with doing vocals in all parts of a room."[3] He disclosed on the Collected Animals messageboard in 2006 that:

we recorded it on the same tascam 48 (half inch 8 track) that I recorded Spirit on and the drums guitars and early electronics for Danse Manatee. That is we recorded the acoustic guitars and the vocals on 8 tracks. Then we mixed it down on Rusty's laptop and recorded many vocal and percussion over dubs. He's been using that for years. We mixed it from that onto....something..(i cant remember) at Noah's mom's place in Baltimore. It was very cold so we had to wear jackets the whole time. We added in all those samples and electronics there. We mixed for awhile so its sweet you like the mixing. Oh and we used AKGs and an old ribbon mic to record with. Though we had a pzm and some sm57s that we might have used as well. I remember using the pzm to record me slamming the door of the house which is what that distorted rhythm track in kids on holiday is. The person talking at the beginning of Who Could Win a Rabbit is someone in a deli in my neighborhood.[4]

The track "Visiting Friends" was influenced by German minimal techno label Kompakt’s Pop Ambient compilations and Wolfgang Voigt's ambient project Gas, with the intention of being "like a wall of hums [...], but with acoustic guitars."[5]

Reception and legacyEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [7]
Alternative Press4/5[8]
The Boston Phoenix    [9]
Mojo     [10]
Rolling Stone     [14]
Stylus MagazineA−[15]
Uncut     [16]

Sung Tongs has received mostly positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 83 out of 100, indicating "Universal acclaim".[6]

Sung Tongs has sold 27,000 copies in US according to Nielsen Soundscan.[17]

The album was performed live in its entirety by the duo for Pitchfork's 21st birthday on December 2, 2017. It was followed by a tour in 2018.[18]

The album has appeared on the following best-of lists:

Track listingEdit

All music is composed by Animal Collective.

1."Leaf House"2:42
2."Who Could Win a Rabbit"2:18
3."The Softest Voice"6:46
4."Winters Love"4:55
5."Kids on Holiday"5:47
6."Sweet Road"1:15
7."Visiting Friends"12:36
9."We Tigers"2:43
10."Mouth Wooed Her"4:24
11."Good Lovin Outside"4:26
12."Whaddit I Done"4:05



  1. ^ a b Bemis, Alec Hanley (2004-12-12). "Freak Folk's Very Own Pied Piper". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Hegarty, Paul; Martin Halliwell (2021). Beyond and Before, Updated and Expanded Edition Progressive Rock Across Time and Genre. Bloomsbury. p. 315.
  3. ^ Collected Animals Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine Post by Dave Portner under his user name "wheeter", April 13, 2006
  4. ^ "Collected Animals message board". Archived from the original on 2007-10-29.
  5. ^ MOTHER NATURE'S SONS: Animal Collective and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti by Simon Reynolds, The Wire, 2005
  6. ^ a b "Reviews for Sung Tongs by Animal Collective". Metacritic. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  7. ^ Bush, John. "Sung Tongs – Animal Collective". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "Animal Collective: Sung Tongs". Alternative Press (193): 122. August 2004.
  9. ^ Bell, Megan (February 4–10, 2005). "Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat)". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  10. ^ "Animal Collective: Sung Tongs". Mojo (126): 105. May 2004.
  11. ^ Young, Dylan (May 20, 2004). "Animal Collective". Now. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Leone, Dominique (May 2, 2004). "Animal Collective: Sung Tongs". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  13. ^ Henderson, Lee (May 5, 2004). "Animal Collective: Sung Tongs". PopMatters. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  14. ^ Sarig, Roni (August 19, 2004). "Sung Tongs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  15. ^ Howard, Ed (June 1, 2004). "Animal Collective – Sung Tongs – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  16. ^ "Animal Collective – Sung Tongs". Uncut (85): 85. June 2004. Archived from the original on September 10, 2005. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Billboard". 2007-06-30.
  18. ^ "Announcing Pitchfork's 21st Live Concert". Pitchfork. 16 October 2017.
  19. ^ Pitchfork staff. The Top 100 Albums of 2000-04. Pitchfork. 7 February 2005. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  20. ^ Pitchfork staff. Top 50 Albums of 2004. Pitchfork. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  21. ^ Pitchfork staff. The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 50-21 Pitchfork. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  22. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes Staff. Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009: 20-01. Tiny Mix Tapes. February 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2011