Panda Bear 

Tomboy

Like some obsessed fanboy, I've been listening to Panda Bear's new album solidly for more than a week. This isn't because I particularly like hipster idol Noah Lennox's fourth solo album. It's more that I am intrigued by it, and am not sure if I understand it. I'm slowly feeding the album to my subconscious like a garden's drip system, in the hopes that something will eventually soak through. So far, bits and pieces: a hook here, a melody there, a lyric, a beat, an unusual time signature.

It may seem that I'm ducking the question. But a tenth, fifteenth, twentieth listen to these fifty minutes and eleven tracks of droning, ambient, experimental indie-pop suggests that this is all there is: half-buried fragments of an obscured whole. Maybe Brian Eno would dig it. For some, the mystery alone may be sufficient; that is, an album that feels incomplete, deviously open-ended, may be an end in itself. For others, it's not. Or perhaps there aren't two types of people, but two frames of mind. Tomboy is a stoner's bedroom revelry, all reverb and incomprehensibly languid lyrics layered in harmony. Its intimacy drives people inside themselves: You don't share this music, but dwell within it.

Lennox is a founding member of Animal Collective, if that says anything. Like that group, he buries elements of pop music beneath blankets of Sunset District-thick fog that the general public might deem boring or featureless. A few songs here are more direct than the others: opening trio "You Can Count on Me," "Tomboy," and "Slow Motion," plus "Alsatian Darn." One can hum along, but beware: These artifacts may reveal themselves after twenty listens, or never. (Paw Tracks)

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Fall Arts 2017

Our Picks for the Best Events of the Fall Arts Season

The Queer & Trans Issue 2017

Stories about creating safe spaces in the Queer and Trans community.

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation