Animal Collective open their ninth studio album, Centipede Hz, with this piece of bleary nostalgia, in which Dave 'Avey Tare' Portner recalls childhood summer road trips down the Atlantic Coast "in a blue Camino." He remembers not only the songs that soundtracked the journeys but also the radio, his cassettes and Walkman.
The song opens with some radio interference and such noise is dotted throughout Centipede Hz. Avey Tare's brother had been a radio DJ in the '80s and '90s in America and had given him CD of his old sound effects and radio ID's. The band had the idea for using samples of them on this record but couldn't locate the CD, so forgot about it for a while. They came back to the concept of using radio sound effects while re-writing the songs on the album for a live performance at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Brian "Geologist" Weltz noted to Australia's Channel-V: "We talked about how we can transition from one song to another without stopping and having the audience applaud – just keep the sound continuous. And we were like, 'Let's go back to that radio idea.' It sort of sits with our idea of what a rock band would sound like if some alien rock band heard music but it was all distorted by the time it reached them. So it just seemed like the right time to use that idea and we just searched for our own old cassettes and videos and things on Youtube with old radio shows to try and sound like the CD that Dave's brother had given us."
Multi-instrumentalist Josh "Deakin" Dibb explained to AUX Magazine why the band decided to open Centipede Hz with this track. "We wanted this record to have high energy and excitement to it," he said, "and I think there was a certain element to how we got together to write stuff, to evoke a version of garage rock bands. It just had that sort of excitedness to it. Even the first day we were working on it, I was jumping around while we were playing it, which kind of shows what we're doing when no one is watching. When we were looking to sequence the record, that one ended up being the really obvious choice [as opener]," Deakin continued. "There's something about the way it's dark, it's kind of heavy and in your face, and it sort of represented the state of mind we wanted people to be in for the whole record."