Panda Bear has a lot to live up to. One part of Animal Collective, a band that now commands the respect of millions after people ‘suddenly’ began paying attention to Merriweather Post Pavillion, and one part indie darling, Noah Lennox has always hand-crafted sounds. That work, continues to inspire and impress as Tomboy, his fourth solo album, drops today.
People looking for some kind of ‘sequel’ to Person Pitch may be surprised, and even disappointed by the shortened song lengths and tame structure, but it’s worth noting that the sounds are still there. Lennox’s voice is still an instrument and it still takes you to odd places.
Tomboy will no doubt be compared to the Animal Collective (and his own) catalogue, and people will cite the wistful experimentation or undeniable fun of those other records, or the stiff emotional darkness of Young Prayer. What will people say about Tomboy? I hope people will listen to “Surfer’s Hymn” and be able to smell the summer, or hear “Drone” and get lost in the weight of a sound that fills every corner of your head. There is an ease by which you could get suffocated listening to Lennox’s voice and tracking the tiny silences. You could even imagine the noises that would fill a Panda Bear song that hasn’t been used yet.
This record is, in fact, a tomboy, challenging what it’s supposed to be or sound like. It’s androgynous and beautifully done so, never pushing or pulling from the wrong source material or even trying to sound like a Panda Bear record. It just is.
If you’re a Panda Bear or Animal Collective fan, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I am.
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
LAST NIGHT AT THE JETTY