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Panda Bear's highly anticipated sophomore album, Tomboy , has been streaming on NPR since Sunday, and if you haven't heard Noah Lennox's latest, you should

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Today Reverb Recommends You Listen to the New Panda Bear Album. Then Listen to It Again

PandaBear127.jpg
Panda Bear's highly anticipated sophomore album, Tomboy, has been streaming on NPR since Sunday, and if you haven't heard Noah Lennox's latest, you should do so ASAP. Sonically, the album represents a slight shift in direction for Lennox since 2007's excellent Person Pitch; that album's sunny, loop-based jams have been replaced here with darker textures and tighter song structures. The effect is similar to that of fellow Animal Collective member Avey Tare's Down There, released last October to not nearly as much acclaim as it deserved.

Also notable is Lennox's increased use of guitar on the album, warping the instrument's sound with electronics in a process he explained in a recent interview with Pitchfork:

I got this [Korg M3-M] workstation, it's usually part of a synthesizer, but I got the version that's just a module-- just a white box, basically. I found out that you could run a line input into the thing and affect that within the box. So, pretty early on in the process, I had this idea of just sticking a guitar into that; that was essentially going to be my setup.

Even before I wrote any songs, I had this idea of a triangle where the voice was at the top, some sort of guitar element on one side, and then some sort of really basic rhythm on the other side. That's where I started from in the recording process.

There isn't a weak song here, but "Slow Motion" is the clear early standout after a few initial listens. The hypnotic, Dilla-influenced track has been spruced up since its release as a single last summer: The percussion packs more of a punch, the vocals have been toyed with, and it sounds as though Lennox has turned up the reverb on the entire mix.

But don't take my word for it--just go listen to it already. Tomboy will continue to stream on NPR until its physical release next Tuesday, April 12.

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