In celebration of the release of the new album by Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox), Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, we’ve put together this handy guide to releases by Animal Collective, of which Panda Bear is a member, and releases by Animal Collective’ individual members.
For the uninitiated, Baltimore-born Animal Collective have been one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bands of the 2000s. Made up of Lennox, Avey Tare (David Portner), Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz), Animal Collective have released nine studio albums and many EPs, collaborations and one-offs. Meanwhile, Lennox and Portner have several releases each (both solo and, in Portner’s case, as a collaborator). Though their music has varied quite a bit from release to release, the band has drawn upon elements of folk, afropop, avant-garde music, noise and psychedelia for a sample and synth-heavy concoction that defies typical genre trappings.
Here’s a list of the band’s releases, in chronological order:
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000)
Somewhat of a solo record by Avey Tare, with Lennox on drums (first released under the name Avey Tare and Panda Bear), Spirit actually better portrays the melodicism that would come to mark later Animal Collective releases than those that immediately followed, full of fluttering acoustic guitars and sparkling synths, with the occasional feedback drones and Portner’s shriek interrupting the reverie. Also notable for being the first thing released on the band’s Animal label, now known as Paw Tracks.