Merriweather Post Pavilion is the eighth studio album by Animal Collective, released on January 6, 2009 on Domino. The album is named after the Columbia, Maryland venue of the same name. In an interview preceding the release of the album, Panda Bear stated that Merriweather Post Pavilion is the band's best-recorded album. At nearly 55 minutes in length, the album is their longest since their debut, Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished.
A plan to perform at the actual Merriweather Post Pavilion after the album's release was ultimately discarded.
The optical illusion cover art is based on the works of Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka.
After recording Strawberry Jam in January 2007, Deakin (Josh Dibb, guitarist) decided he would take time off from the group for undisclosed personal reasons. As a result, the group went about writing a new batch of songs to be played without guitar. Drawing inspiration from Panda Bear's Person Pitch, they used samplers as their primary instrument. They debuted nine of these songs, most of which would later appear on the album, in May 2007 and toured with them through 2008. The album was recorded in February 2008 with Ben Allen at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, Mississippi.