Buoys Album Cover by Panda Bear

Album Review: Panda Bear – Buoys

Panda Bear
Domino Records

Panda Bear on Selective Memory

Following up with the grandiose Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper and the huge success of the epistemologically trippy “Boys Latin,” Noah Lennox returns with Bouys. Like a collection of pop songs on an outer planet, Bouys is equally familiar as it is strange. This chapter in his career, Lennox gets out of his realm to build a sparse landscape from a limited range of sounds that joins forces with his influences including his vocal work with The Walkmen’s Paul Maroon as well as reggaeton production work by Rusty Santos.

“Dolphin” dives in with 16-bit game sounds and effects looking at ocean life in a weirdly fantastical way. Lennox’s vocals feel canonical but different in the cannon that fueled “Boys Latin.” The song feels like a musical after taking a bunch of acid during low tide. His interpretation of the ocean life perspective is refreshing in its quirkiness.

Panda Bear – Dolphin

“Token” is like listening to a Byrds song inside a neutron collider. His story is what keeps us intrigued. The music is just out there, but that is the trend with this album-to utilize music as a paint brush to accentuate a very expressive sense of songwriting.

The title track features Chilean DJ/vocalist Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D’Santiago. Don’t expect a Jobim masterpiece, but witnessing a collaborative song in Panda Bear’s world is always a strange delight in the sincerest of gestures. The song builds interpretive pop that will leave you with shrapnel of the song in your mind long after.

Panda Bear – Buoys [Official Video]

As each song passes like a chapter, it’s naturally hard to pinpoint Panda Bear down. “Inner Monologue feels like a seduction piece from a giallo film while “Master” echoes of the ghosts of British ‘60s folk spiraling through space.

Equally psychedelic in its own measure as Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, Buoys emits from Lennox’s solace and a limited palette of sounds. The album shows how vibrant his artistic concept stretches.

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