Panda Bear is the solo project of Animal Collective front-man Noah Lennox. The 32 year old was born in The Wire-land of Baltimore, Maryland. His debut solo album was released in 1998 on Washington DC-based label Paw Tracks (formerly known as Soccer Star).
Lennox achieved more fame as he joined his Animal Collective cohorts. He and friend Josh Dibb moved to New York after graduating from Boston University, and after releasing the Panda Bear debut, Lennox focused on the Animal Collective project. He did not release another solo production until 2004 when it came to light that his father had brain cancer and ‘Young Prayer’ was released as an acoustic tribute EP.
Lennox married Portuguese fashion designer Fernanda Pereira after meeting her on holiday in Lisbon where he now resides. They have collaborated to produce a line of sweatshirts entitled 2ndThings which have been very popular, and have two children, a son and a daughter.
Rarely playing by himself (his fellow band members of Animal Collective usually play with him), Panda Bear is an experimental, alternative sound. Heavily influenced by Aphex Twin, Panda Bear is very much electronic and sharing an occasional likeness to Flying Lotus. The vocals have the ethereal tranquillity of Fleet Foxes, but are often looped and distorted slightly to give the music an eerie, aged effect. The artist’s religious, choir-boy background emerges as some of the songs have a structure very similar to Christian hymns. Panda Bear often changes time and key signatures as well as mixing different drumming styles mid-song using both drum kits and drum machines.
‘Tomboy’ – Panda Bear’s long-awaited fourth album and follow-up to ‘Person Pitch’ is out now on his own label, Paw Tracks.