We hadn’t heard much from Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, since his 2011 ‘Tomboy’ which I liked a lot, however he has just announced the release of a new full-length album with the curious title, ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’, a perfect theme for Halloween? Not exactly as the album will only be out in January (the 12th in the UK and the 13th in the US via Domino) but we already can have a first taste of it with the single ‘Mr Noah’, which is in fact included in a new EP also containing three non-album B-sides: ‘Faces In The Crowd’, ‘Untying The Knot’, and ‘This Side Of Paradise’.
Glitchy, super layered as anything Panda Bear has ever done, with Lennox’s echoing distant vocals more hypnotic than ever, the song gave me vertigo after a few seconds and it didn’t only come from this weird video that goes with it! The mini-movie really fits the mood of the music which sounds like a repetitive pop song going through a mosaic grinder and rebuilt in many directions. It goes nowhere and everywhere, absurdly turns in circles and I got the impression that the tune could continue forever. There’s no progression or ascension in the song – this goes against the trend seen in so much music which is released these days – and I honestly don’t understand what’s going on but I can’t stop moving my head in rhythm. It’s weird but catchy at the same time as Lennox’s ethereal vocals work very well with repetitive hooks buried into a haze of synths and I defies anyone not to be able to recognize that it is a Panda Bear song at the first second,… He has certainly created a style.
According to the press release,’Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’ will be very different from ‘Tomboy’ and Lennox will be ‘unpacking his sonic toolbox again, rearranging the multitude of his disparate influences into the ever-morphing concoction he refers to as the soup’. ‘‘Old school hip-hop textures and production techniques meld with the intuitive, cyclical melodies he has become known for, for a sound that is at once dense and playful.’ Noah even explained: ‘It’s sort of marking change — not necessarily an absolute death, but the ending of something, and hopefully the beginning of something else.’
The album was recorded everywhere from El Paso, Texas to his home in Lisbon, Portugal. You can listen to and download the new EP via iTunes or Domino Records’ website, and the song is being offered as a free download with a pre-order of the LP.
Here is ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’ tracklist, and honestly each title sounds like the title of a book (at least two are)
‘Davy Jones’ Locker’
‘Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker’
‘Come To Your Senses’
‘Tropic Of Cancer’
‘Shadow Of The Colossus’
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