As both a solo artist and a member of Animal Collective, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) has proven to be immensely popular and influential since rising to prominence during the early 2000s. Numerous acts (both indie and mainstream) have incorporated his style of reverb-soaked, Beach Boys-esque vocals, as well as his fluid, versatile drumming (which is heavily inspired by Stewart Copeland of the Police). His approach to samplebased composition, blending the techniques of hip-hop producers such asMadlib and Pete Rock as well as atmospheric techno labels like Kompakt and Dial, has similarly inspired myriad indie electronic and chill-wave artists. His full-length albums have consistently received mountains of acclaim, and he’s been a popular live draw as well.
Noah Lennox adopted the name Panda Bear in the late ’90s, when he drew a picture of a panda on one of his first bedroom studio recordings. He grew up in Maryland and Pennsylvania, went to college at Boston University, and eventually found his way to New York City, where he met his future Animal Collective bandmates Avey Tare, Geologist, and Deakin. In addition to his work with Animal Collective, Jane, and Together, Lennox has released several solo albums. In 1999, while Lennox and Avey Tare were still in the earliest stages of what would grow to be known as Animal Collective, the first solo collection of Panda Bear material arrived on an obscure selftitled release on indie label Soccer Star. The electronica-pop recordings were miles away from the more spectral folk weirdness Lennox would explore over the next several years. Materializing in 2004, his more widely distributed second solo album, Young Prayer, was a murky, largely wordless free-folk album influenced by the death of his father. That year, Lennox moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where he met fashion designer Fernanda Pereira while on vacation; the two subsequently married and started a family.
Person Pitch, Lennox’s third album and second on the Paw Tracks label, followed three years later. The album was a patchwork of repurposed samples and densely layered vocals, and not only met enormous popularity and critical acclaim, but went on to be incredibly influential on the entire indie spectrum. Lennox guested on recordings by Atlas Sound, Pantha du Prince, Taken by Trees, and Ducktails, and remixed the Notwist’s song “Boneless.”