Riding high on the critical success of 2007’s “Strawberry Jam,” avant-garde rock group Animal Collective will ring in the New Year with another record and a brief tour of Europe and the U.S. The outing begins January 12 at Koko in London, ENG, and continues across the mainland through a January 18 set at Postbanhof in Berlin, GER, before heading to the States.

The five-show U.S. run opens with two gigs in New York City on January 20 at the Grand Ballroom and January 21 at the Bowery Ballroom. From there, the band sets off for a January 22 show at Metro in Chicago, followed by two closing shows in Los Angeles on January 23 at Henry Fonda Theatre and on January 24 at Troubadour.

Animal Collective will be supporting its eighth studio album, “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” which is slated for a January 20 release in the U.S. The record is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Strawberry Jam,” which debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 72 and received high marks from the likes of Rolling Stone (3/5), NME (8/10) and Pitchfork Media (9.3/10).

Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Avey Tare (David Portner), Geologist (Brian Weitz) and Deakin (Josh Dibb) comprise the group, though albums released under the Collective name don’t always feature contributions from all members. Since the release of “Strawberry Jam” and the subsequent tour, Deakin has been on hiatus from the group and is not expected to appear on the winter 2009 tour.

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Animal Collective itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

January 12 London, ENG Koko
January 13 Glasgow, SCO Glasgow School of Arts
January 14 Manchester, ENG Club Academy
January 15 Brighton, ENG Concorde 2
January 16 Paris, FRA Bataclan Music Hall
January 17 Leueven, BEL Stuk Kunstencentrum
January 18 Berlin, GER Postbanhof
January 20 New York, NY Grand Ballroom
January 21 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
January 22 Chicago, IL Metro
January 23 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre
January 24 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour