One of Animal Collective‘s defining features has always been their weirdness.

Since the band’s first release in 2000, Spirit They’re Gone Spirit They’ve Vanished, the sometimes-four piece has consistently pushed the envelope of what pop music can, and should, sound like. Their most recent effort, an EP called Bridge to Quiet, is no different. Featuring four of the longest songs in the band’s discography, Animal Collective returns to the murky, heavily reverberated sounds they experimented with on albums like Merriweather Post Pavillion and Centipede Hz, while pulling from the ambient soundscapes of Tangerine Reef.

This time around, though, all the edges have been softened: each of Bridge to Quiet’s tracks floats by on woozy rivers of sound, guided by the push-and-pull of droning electronic backdrops.

Bridge to Quiet‘s ambient sensibilities are immediately established with opener “Rain in Cups.” As the volume slowly fades up, echoed drums ring throughout the mix. “Submerged in a puddle,” Avey Tare sings, as an intense bass propels the song forward. His lyricism is apt: every instrument on this song sounds like it was recorded underwater. The song slowly plods forward, before the band sings “And the rain suddenly is gone again.” The vocals are layered and psychedelic, and the mix slowly fades down to an eerie buzz before opening back up with “Piggy Knows,” the most pop-forward track on the EP. “Piggy Knows” is built around the hook “Piggy knows, piggy knows / When it looks up from its nose.” Here, Animal Collective falls back on the weird quirks that make their lengthy discography so unique.

“Sux-Bier Passage,” the third and shortest track (clocking in at a brisk seven-and-a-half minutes) relies purely on Animal Collective’s instrumental and electronic prowess. At times, it’s almost ambient: gusts of wind blow throughout the track, setting off a chain reaction of noises which add up to create massive, dense, tangible walls of sound. At other times, it almost feels improvisational: there’s no clear sense of structure or logic here, as thick vocal samples and sharp, harpsichord-like synths bubble up occasionally. “Sux-Bier Passage” slides effortlessly into the final track, “Bridge to Quiet.”

Propelled by a gargantuan synth line (not unlike LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean”), “Bridge to Quiet” is a phenomenal highlight of the project and one of Animal Collective’s best songs in years. Through the sprawling, almost 11 minute track, the band draws on eclectic sounds that twist and turn with the fluidity of a babbling brook. Avey Tare’s vocals are de-emphasized here (another similarity to “Dance Yrself Clean”), letting the band’s signature psychedelic production take control. Displayed perfectly by the titular track, Bridge to Quiet is a fascinating experiment that marries Animal Collective’s most experimental and most accessible work. The resulting EP is simultaneously dense and sparse, shifting with amorphous production and ambient noise.

Purchase Animal Collective’s Bridge to Quiet here, and stream it below.