Much credit for this rise must be laid at the feet of Noah Lennox, known as Panda Bear. With his third solo album Person Pitch (2007), he originated a sound that countless artists would try to imitate but none better. Over a mere seven tracks, Lennox morphed and skewed samples to create a richly prismatic soundworld. Whether whispering lullaby-like over samples from a fourteenth century chanson in ‘I’m Not’ or crafting twelve and a half minutes of irresistibly propulsive melodies in ‘Bros’, Panda Bear sounded thrillingly new. Person Pitch was voted the year’s best album in numerous polls, and has gone on to become one of the most beloved of its decade.
With Tomboy (2011), Lennox stripped away these layers to create something equally compelling. Sacrificing found sounds in favour of a woozy, dream-like synths and guitars, Tomboy was a collection of almost unbelievably beautiful songs, sounding as if the Beach Boys had been subsumed in pillows of cloud. Although not as mould breaking as its predecessor, Tomboy was no less astonishing.
Little wonder, then, that Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (2015) is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. It’s unlikely to provoke much disappointment. Fuggier than Tomboy yet just as catchy, it sees Lennox embrace pop and rock as never before. ‘Principle Real’ and ‘Come To Your Senses’ have a balearic funk strut, while ‘Boys Latin’ and ‘Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker’ take pleasure in juxtaposing heavenly vocals with grimly inorganic electronics.
In support of the album, Lennox will play Brixton Electric. If his live show manages to capture even half of the record’s charm, it will be one of the year’s unmissable gigs. And with his newfound immediacy and clout, there can be little doubt that he will succeed.
|What||Panda Bear, Electric Brixton|
|Where||The Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Brixton (underground)|
On 04 Mar 15, 7:00 PM – 10:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via Songkick|