By Josh Bird
Mr Noah EP
‘Mr. Noah’ is the title of the zany new EP by Animal Collective member Noah Lennox, better known as Panda Bear. Lennox has announced a new album for Janurary next year titled ‘Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper’, but has released this EP to let fans know that they can expect more of the same unique sounds that have set Panda Bear apart in the past.
The title track opens the four-song EP with an unsettling collection of dog whines and howls to signal that we’re about to go somewhere wild – and we do. The reverb-heavy, distorted waves of sound that form the beat of this song sound like a didgeridoo going through a washing machine (in a good way). Lennox’s vocals provide a catchy and interesting melody, jumping up and down in a fun way. This energetic song is definitely the best of the set.
The other standout track on the album for me is ‘Untying the Knot’, which opens with a flurry of hypnotic, dancing notes played on what sounds like a shamisen or some similar Japanese string instrument. Big, booming percussion kicks in to really get the track going, and we’re given some layered vocals from Panda Bear that build up upon each other to create a nicely textured harmony that eventually sort of melts into itself and spirals softly out.
The other two tracks – ‘Faces in the Crowd’ and ‘This Side of Paradise’ are enjoyable as well, encompassing the bubbling synthesisers and wavy rhythms that Panda Bear is famous for, as well as more airy, layered vocals.
Overall this is an EP that I think most Animal Collective and Panda Bear fans will be pleased with, with songs interesting enough to pull in some new fans as well. If ‘Mr. Noah’ is a teaser for the upcoming album, colour me excited.