Where experimental electronic sound meets a keen adeptness for pushing the boundaries of Pop, you will find an artist who calls himself Panda Bear. A key fixture in the world of indie music since 2000, he continues to be an influential figure continually questioning the line between the avant-garde and the familiar.
Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) took his first steps into indie notoriety as a founding member of Animal Collective. Coming from an experimental rock band, his solo albums have similar characteristics, but are much more personal in nature. On his second album, Young Prayer he dealt with his father’s death, which resulted in a somber album that resonated his grief. In contrast, his third Person Pitch swelled with ambition, reflecting the happiness provided by his new home in Lisbon.
As you discover the music of Panda Bear you will have a hard time finding any resemblance of a conventional song structure. Sounds, echoes, and noises drift in and out of tracks and while it is difficult to assess what instrument they may come from, it doesn’t make the music any less affecting. The music holds elements of 60s pop, thick reverb, harmonies, playful synthesizers and a pop melody or two. Panda Bear’s latest offering, Tomboy highlights the best of these elements and makes it his most pop-friendly album to date without shying away from the experimentalism that keeps him original.
If you like: James Blake, Atlas Sound, Animal Collective, Bibio
Check out: Panda Bear (start with Tomboy, continue with Person Pitch and graduate to Young Prayer and his self-titled debut)
Feeling brave: Black Dice, Caribou, Real Estate, Spacemen 3
AI Level: Advanced