Yep, I guess the question with many of these might be whether the fall from prominence was sudden or gradual.
I was interested by the Chvrches example, and whether they had indeed fallen away from prominence, or just moved into different circles that I wasn’t familiar with. Thought Google Trends might be able to answer that perhaps. With obvious peaks and dips around musical releases, the chart below suggests there have generally been diminishing returns in terms of how talked about they are without falling off a cliff:
Tbf with Animal Collective, all the good stuff (in my experience) drifted to the side stuff. Avey Tare’s solo albums and that soundtrack they did for the coral reef film are great - but yeah, genuinely couldn’t tell you about their mainline albums since MPP
(Centipede Hz came out at a bad time for me, can’t really enjoy it at all)
It’s interesting. Some bands mentioned here have fallen short following up a masterpiece, and I’d agree with the theory above that it might be better to be consistently okay-good rather than great.
For me Chvrches are just shy of that. Each release seems to expose their limitations and lack of real ambition more than the last. Like, all they really seem to stand for is following trends to grow their audience. I know many bands do but somehow it seems quite naked with them.
So maybe the golden rule is, release consistently fine albums but with enough of a tweak (or enough of a personal vision) to FEEL fresh in that moment?
I’d add Death From Above 1979 to the list. People talked about that debut for years - and there was genuine excitement and relish at even the idea of them reforming before they did. But I don’t think anyone really cared afterwards - and although the new album is immaculately produced and sounds great, and is probably their best material since the debut, no one seems moved (don’t think Pitchfork even reviewed the last two).
Of course, they’re also slightly soiled by talk of one of them being a right winger - and imo some of the lyrics on the new album seem extremely prickly (pardon the pun) on this subject. Their lyrics were always crass but I think knowing what we know now, they look like worse.
Always felt with Animal Collective that they’ve essentially done what they want whether people listened or not - revolving door of band members, live sets comprising of all new material and releasing Centipede Hz at what arguably was the peak of their hype. They don’t seem concerned at all with themselves as a ‘brand’ so I wouldn’t say people got over them - I think the hype turned people onto them at their creative peak when they were most accessible but I think they have a fairly hardcore fan base and are too idiosyncratic for major success.
Bands like Idles on the other hand - really felt like they were pushing for success and acceptance in conjunction with the hype and the last record felt like they’ve gone all out to be successful and enduring. Hard to see where they go from here after seemingly going all in.
This could just be my perception, but Cloud Nothings?
Seems like DiS at least has gone fairly silent on them, don’t understand why though. I think Last Building Burning is by far their best album, and the latest two are just as good as if not better than Attack on Memory / Here and Nowhere Else / Life Without Sound. Feels like everyone sort of binned them off in 2017.