Animal Collective change ‘racist’ EP art and album titles

2003 EP ‘Here Comes the Indian’ is to be renamed ‘Ark’

Isobel Lewis
Friday 03 July 2020 09:13
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Animal Collective have apologised for using “racist stereotypes” towards black and indigenous people in their cover art and album titles.

In a newsletter sent to fans, the “My Girls” performers acknowledged a number of outdated stereotypes in their work, starting with the album art of their 2006 EP People, which features two white children and a black nanny.

“There is no way to excuse using a ‘mammy’ on our artwork, and so we have decided to remove it. We understand now that using a racist stereotype at all causes more damage than an explanation can repair, and we apologise,” Animal Collective wrote, pledging to donate future royalties from the record to the Equal Justice Initiative.

The Brooklyn-based band, known for their experimental pop, also promised to rename their 2003 album Here Comes the Indian on the grounds of “objectifying the American Indian people”, changing the name to Ark and sending a portion of royalties to the charity Seeding Sovereignty.

A portion of royalties from the 2017 EP Meeting of the Waters, which samples music from the Brazilian Tatuyo tribe, will be given to the Cultural Society.

All of the group’s Bandcamp proceeds raised on 4 July will be split between these charities, as well as Southerners on New Ground (SONG), and the Okra Project, with an additional $10,000 donation also being split between those groups.

Animal Collective’s move comes after The Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum rebranded as The Chicks and Lady A, respectively, because of the racial connotations of their band names.

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