I admit it. I opted out of my early morning swim today in favor of a few hours of extra sleep. After all, there’s always tomorrow. I am however proceeding with my easy lunchtime run, especially as it’s cool and overcast out (dare I say it, it’s almost sweater and pumpkin spice weather). The plan today calls for 45 minutes of continuous easy running to this album, ‘Person Pitch‘ by Panda Bear.
Before I get into the album itself, look at that album cover – it’s Simply the Tits! C’mon, it’s like the ‘The Life of Pi‘ meets The Village People. It’s actually an original composition by by Agnes Montgomery, an artist whom Lennox credits as having positively influenced him.
If foxes in hot tubs be your thing; roll with it, brah.
No judgement here.
This is the 3rd album released by Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear), released on March 20th, 2007. It was recorded using a pair of Roland SP-303 samplers, and represents a stylistic leap from his previous album, the primarily acoustic ‘Young Prayer’ (2004). The album was met with universal critical acclaim, and later ranked among the top 10 albums of the 2000’s in lists by Pitchfork.
Though comprising just seven tracks, not a second of time is wasted over the course of the album. From the loop of clapping that brings ‘Comfy in Nautica‘ into focus to the gentle guitar chords and steady kick-drum pulse of album closer ‘Ponytail’, each sound is economical and deliberate. Lennox’s gift here is assembling small sounds to create a bigger picture. ‘Take Pills‘ builds its rhythm from interlocking samples of scraping skateboard wheels and an anonymous oldies radio loop before walls of Beach Boys-esque harmonies come in on top. The song goes on to a second half made up of a bouncing, skeletal bassline and more waves of harmonies, occasional sound effects of distant atom bombs, screeching animals, and splashing puddles all culminating in a blurry pastiche that seconds as a perfect pop song. This is also true of album centerpiece ‘Bros‘, a 12-minute collage of chiming guitar arpeggios, stony vocal harmonies, hooting owls, and phasing loops that fade in and out of each other. More electronic impulses are blended into the respective grooves of oddly-named two-parter ‘Good Girl/Carrots‘, while hazy tape manipulation, wordless vocal loops, and soft noise make up the more ambient ‘Search for Delicious’.
Disarmingly simple, perfectly metered, and striking in both its playfulness and vulnerability, ‘Person Pitch‘ stood as a perfectly executed statement for Lennox, and in at least some circles of indie rock, a musical revelation.
I didn’t really have any plan for a route for this run, I just set out…running. 45 minutes or bust which was good enough for 8.11k in total, or an average pace of 5:33min/km. That more or less qualifies this run as both my first tempo (my first since June 3rd) and long (first since May 7th) runs of the season. Hopefully, the weather continues to cooperate and I can more of this under my belt leading into the real weekly running workouts.
I’m pleased to know though that my patience apparently paid off.