Panda Bear–a.k.a. Noah Lennox–the central member, with Avey Tare, of Animal Collective–the king of electro-pop drone, and washes of ambient synesthesia, the creator of cumulus cloud stupor-rock–has finally leaked his new album, Tomboy, to NPR. This is just days before the official release of his much delayed, years-in-the-making sequel to his last solo album, Person Pitch, named one of the top five albums of the twenty-first century’s debut decade by, among other taste-makers, Pitchfork and HRO. The album was originally slated to come out near the end of 2010, then in February, and is now due to hit stores on April 12.

Listen to it here.

This is an album best heard on some sort of transcendental medication–be it chemical or internal–in a dark room at the border of consciousness, all at once, without break or distraction or disturbance. It’s the sound of an increasing detachment, climaxing towards complete absurdist dissociation and unmooring, and followed by a downward spiral of increasing chaos but decreasing care, or even perception–the sound of a mind losing itself and searching so hard that it can’t really find anything after. This is the sound of the space between fuzzy warbles over soft shades ad a self-induced vegetative state as a mode of a final escape, a means of last resort. It’s an oddly comfy but eerie piece–not a collection of tracks, but a progression of frames that lay out the same moment through the lens of a changing spectator–not even a creator, an artist, or a maker, but a watcher of his skin-sack’s obsessions that turn out to be idle hobbies. And then it gives up in holiness bangs and whimpers.

Fans of Panda Bear will not be able to help but love this album–I think it’s a much more honest and powerful, more cohesive and timeless piece than Person Pitch, though Person Pitch has all the melodia and track-based perfection that first attracts people to Panda Bear. If you’ve already heard his work, prepare to see (and I mean see–this is very visual noise) this wordsmith of timbre transform into a conduit of aura-rock. If you’re unfamiliar with his previous oeuvre, I suggest looking up Person Pitch’s songs first, most notably Bros, Comfy in Nautica, Take Pills, and, well, every single other track on the album. But they work individually, and may be less initially overwhelming than an aalbum that, though it has a track named Drone, could have called each and every one that same thing.

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