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Panda Bear Interview On NPR

Starting Monday, NPR is streaming ‘Tomboy’ the new Panda Bear’s album on their website in their ‘First Listen series’, eight days before its official release on April 12th.

For the occasion, they interviewed Noah Lennox, who lives now in Lisbon, Portugal, and he talked about his recording process and his idea of music.

It is an interesting interview, but NPR takes him very seriously, and after evoking the obvious Brian Wilson influence, Robert Siegel, the host of 'All Things Considered', had to reference classical musicians like Bach and Handel, Haydn!

I thought Panda Bear was the modern Wilson, but is he really the new Bach? This is what NPR tends to make us believe…

Siegel said there’s almost a religious sound, not in the liturgical meaning, but ‘like a powerful modern electronic version of this soaring Christian compositions of the 18-19th centuries’, … ha the cavernous sound of Bach!

So I don’t know, but Lennox said he feels kind of the same way about music than those guys, since for him, music is ‘a special event’ and not something he just does on a Friday night. And he added that he is definitively more into that zone of thinking about music: ‘Music is not something I feel super casual about’.
I had noticed it, and that’s a good thing, but will people believe him when he said that he tries not to take it too seriously?

He also talked about his sound, and once again Siegel wanted to make a connection with the religious aspect by asking him if he goes to churches in Lisbon.

Even though Lennox said Tomboy has a darker feel than much of his past work, especially because he recorded it in a studio basement, a little bunker with no windows, he said he was not thinking of it as being a dark lonely thing but it came out that way, since the atmosphere of the environment was coming out in his work.

But yeah, Lennox likes churches, ‘these stone buildings that have really high ceilings’, and that have 'a natural reverb'. In fact, he is in love with the sound of big reverb and he is looking to create a sound that makes the music sounds as if it was a big room,… ‘I have been drawn to it too much!’, but music feels good to him in that kind of space.

His music is all recorded on a computer, but he said he does not like to mess around too much with tweaking the sound and prefers it as performance based. But he loves all different layers of sounds, vocals, synthesizer, percussion, adding many layers of his own vocals singing the same thing and ending up sounding like just a unique voice.

‘I like to think of it like salt and pepper — you put these weird little sounds in there to spice up the song,… it usually keep my mind traveling through the song. I'll often think about making music and making food. I'm a terrible chef, though’.

So, is his music religious-like or gourmet-like? He has to decide, but one sure is certain he seems to be a perfectionist since he has been working on this album for three years.

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