Panda Bear "Tomboy"
PAW 36 cd/lp/digital
300 dpi jpeg of front cover:
300 dpi photos of Panda Bear:
credit: Brian DeRan
Both as a member of Animal Collective and as the solo artist, Panda Bear, Noah Lennox spent the aughts helping redefine the aesthetics and methodology of experimental and independent music. With work ranging from splayed but lyrical noise, florid acoustic arrangements, and guitar-centric psychedelia, he and his bandmates have covered a vast musical territory that blurs the line between pop and experimentalism. But while Panda Bear and Animal Collective have garnered acclaim with each successive sonic venture, their music really started to take hold when they began working with electronics. In 2007, Lennox released the milestone Person Pitch, a mélange of loopy samples, ethereal textures, and dubby echoesall bound together by his soulful tenor. Hailed by many as an instant classic, the album’s influence was almost immediately recognizable. He continued work with Animal Collective, releasing another landmark album Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009.
While the interval since Person Pitch has seen plenty of work from the Animal Collective camp, Panda Bear activity has been rare. He has toured sparingly, done intermittent remix work, and appeared on a few peers’ releases while rumors circulated about his next full-length, Tomboy. The second half of 2010 saw the record’s first offerings: a string of 7"s containing tracks from the album, each released on a different label. With one more due before the album’s release on April 12th, the singles have revealed Tomboy’s palette while helping Lennox gauge his progress and focus on individual songs.
Recorded at his studio in Lisbon, Tomboy sees Lennox stepping away from the sample-based parameters of his previous record and incorporating more guitar and synthesizer. Still prevalent, though, is the interest in texture that made Person Pitch such a dense record; crashing waves and cheering crowds bounce against the gurgling arpeggios and give the tracks an immense sense of space. Soaked in reverb and punctuated with inflections of delay, the album’s drums reveal a dub influence which gives them a visceral punch that lingers after each hit. Lennox’s lofty, self-harmonizing vocals smooth out the songs, and Sonic Boom’s mixing gives the work a large dynamic range. With Tomboy, Lennox has created a more plaintive atmosphere, but in accordance with the conflicting image of its title, the highs of the album balance out its lows. The record, massive in its span of emotion, genre, and sound, is the welcome return of one of the most prolific and consistent audio pioneers in recent memory.
- - North American Press by Forcefield PR
- - North American College Radio Promotion by Terrorbird
- - LP comes with digital download card
- - Highly anticipated follow-up to 2007’s Person Pitch, voted #1 album of that year by Pitchfork.
- - Panda Bear, one fourth of Animal Collective, presents his fourth full length album.
- - Mixed by Pete Kember (A.K.A. Sonic Boom/ex-Spacemen 3) in Brooklyn.
- - Special DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) Vinyl mastered at Abbey Road in London.
- - Limited colored vinyl for first pressing.
Tracklisting: 1. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
CD barcode –
LP barcode – 677517103618
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Panda Bear Bio:
Near the end of 2010, Panda Bear (a/k/a Noah Lennox of Animal Collective) will release his fourth full-length album, Tomboy. To say the disc is highly-anticipated would be a slight understatement. After the crowning glory of his previous solo album, 2007’s Person Pitch (which not only topped Pitchfork’s Album of the Year charts but also ranked in the top ten of their Albums of the Decade), Panda Bear reconvened his Animal Collective brethren and followed it up with 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, which also found its rightful place atop innumerable magazine and blog polls come year’s end.
Through it all, Lennox has remained resilient in following his singular vision and voice. “I’ve definitely traversed some kind of mind field the last year or so and it hasn’t always been pleasant or easy,” Lennox says. “But it’s been more a positive irritant than anything else.” Tomboy proves, above all else, that he’s risen to the challenge and surpassed (as well as sidestepped) all expectations. And in following up Person Pitch, Panda Bear has again taken to releasing the album as a batch of separate singles first, for labels like Kompakt, Fat Cat, Paw Tracks, and Domino. “Doing the singles helps me focus on every song and also helps me move along in the process.”
Also part of the process was moving past the gear that informed the dense sonic tapestries of Person Pitch and MPP: “I got tired of the severe parameters of using samplers. Thinking about Nirvana and the White Stripes got me into the idea of doing something with a heavy focus on guitar and rhythm.” Favoring a darker, more-streamlined sound on Tomboy, Lennox went for a more visceral and direct approach, though that rock
tendency was offset by another old influence on Lennox: “With regards to where I am with Tomboy, I’m definitely reliving middle school and all the Baltimore R&B radio we used to ingest.”
It lends itself to the paradox of the title itself. Lennox explains: “A lot of the songs are about something that’s in conflict with itself, so the image of a ‘tomboy’ has become the overseeing figure as far as the group of songs go.” It might even exemplify the conflict of Panda Bear himself: underground and experimental in his approach to sound, he also strives to craft gorgeous pop for the widest audience possible. With Tomboy, he’s attained his greatest balance between the two extremes yet.