Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
The indie rock scene is thriving with an abundance of superb bands, solo artists, and side projects, but one of the best is Noah Lennox a.k.a. Panda Bear, one of the founding members of indie psychedelic band, Animal Collective. Throughout releases from both bands, one could take notice of the different themes of growing older, parenting, and on this latest Panda Bear release, death. Lennox returns with his latest record as Panda Bear titled Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper.
Upon first listen to Reaper, it is very reminiscent of Animal Collective, of course, with Lennox’s dreamlike vocals and the electronic and psychedelic nature of the music. But Panda Bear is its own project – with more bits and pieces of indie electronic music thrown in there.
The record opens with the track “Sequential Circuits” – a very mellow, spacey tune guiding the listener to get just what you need / just what / Want more than you need / Want more / Dread follows that lead. The track is a great opener, sucking the listener in to the record, and leading them through the twists and turns of the electronica in Panda Bear’s sound.
The first single, “Mr. Noah”, is an indie electronic song with a super catchy hook that has the best components for the perfect indie rock/indie electronic track. Of course it will draw comparisons to Animal Collective, I feel it also brings in elements of the electronic sound that Radiohead and Thom Yorke often incorporate in their music, as well as elements from straightforward indie rock bands like Grizzly Bear. “Crosswords” highlights upon a very psychedelic sound similar to the essence of Painted Palms’ “Spinning Signs”.
“Boys Latin” is the second single following “Mr. Noah” and is a blend of a continuous electronic beat and repetitive lyrics: Dark clouds descended again / Has a dark cloud descended again / Has a dark cloud descended again / And a shadow moves in. Despite the repetitive nature of the track, it is a very catchy song, and pulls together the album in a way that sucks the listener in.