favorite albums 2011: number nine
9. Panda Bear - Tomboy
I quickly grow tired of many albums that have seemingly indiscernible lyrics on first listen. My mind seems to think it’s not worth the effort to pick them out, but simultaneously feels bad about being that lazy, so those particular albums tend to be purposefully forgotten in short order. Not so with Tomboy. Maybe it’s because I loved Panda Bear’s album Person Pitch so much only after countless listens, but I made the effort to actively listen and actually detect what Noah Lennox was singing so melodically about over the course of Tomboy. Lo and behold, it’s a wonderland of brotherly friendship, wistful longing and romantic sentiment. While I loved being immersed in the worlds that Lennox created in these songs through his lo-fi instrumentation and loops, his lyrics keep getting simpler and (strangely enough) ever more affecting. I’d recommend devoting some solid headphone time to Tomboy in order to fully appreciate the way this guy can turn a simple phrase like “and I’ll call you my friend” into a gorgeous mantra that will stay stuck in your head for days. It doesn’t hurt that the guy comes up with harmonies that Brian Wilson would have killed for, and when someone sounds this happy just to be singing on every song, it’s a joy to listen to from start to finish.