Dave Portner, better known as Animal Collective‘s de facto Lennon to Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox’s McCartney, didn’t build his reputation creating pop songs (though he’s happened upon those too). In Animal Collective, he unleashed his inner child like no band had seen before, screaming like a baby and letting the songs fall out of nearly drum-circle-like pieces, which eventually took on the guise of jams (“Banshee Beat,” “People“), squelchy pop (“Peacebone,” “Today’s Supernatural“) and folk-rooted prog (“What Would I Want? Sky“). Outside of his main band, he released an album with his then-wife Kria Brekkan called Pullhair Rubeye, a collection of real songs turned backwards into ambient cut-and-paste pieces; and later, lamenting his divorce, he released the moody, subterranean solo album Down There. Most recently, with Enter the Slasher House, he tries his hand at psychedelic-rock tunes with members of Dirty Projectors and Ponytail — and it contains some of his most straightforward ideas to date. There’s no telling where he’ll go next. — Dan Weiss