Artist of the week: Panda Bear
Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, is an experimental musician, DJ, producer and co-founder of the band Animal Collective. He has also pursued an impressive solo career with several records that have become highly influential in the indie spectrum. If there is something that has been defining his work in the last two decades in a tension between the deep feel of communion expressed by his voice and music and the dread of most of his themes: death, the effects of time and the fear of growing up and holding on.
After an obscure and atypical electronica-pop debut in 1999, Panda Bear released in 2004 (the same year as Animal Collective’s breakthrough Sung Tungs), a pungent eulogy for his father as his second solo album. If Young Prayer already featured the spellbinding power of his echoed vocal arpeggios, nobody was really prepared for the hypnotic majesty of 2007′s supremely sample-crafted Person Pitch, a record that would become one of the first undisputed classics of the new millennium. After the more guitar-centered sound for his last record, 2011’s Tomboy, Noah’ s new record, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, is a fierce exploration of his trademark hallucinatory sonic landscapes with densely layered vocals and his unreachable penchant for resilient hooks and buoyant melodies. Electronic psychedelia really does not get any better than this.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.