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PANDA BEAR: Buoys

On the heels of releasing his sixth studio album, Buoys, in February, Panda Bear a.k.a. Noah Lennox has shared a video for the album’s title track. Starring Beatrice the French Bulldog, it depicts an unusual dating show with an ultimately jubilant ending. The “Buoys” video follows previous videos for “Token” and “Dolphin”. It was directed by frequent collaborator Danny Perez (who also did the Buoys artwork and directed Animal Collective’s visual album ODDSAC), and is part of an ongoing collaboration since 2007 between Danny and Panda Bear. About the video, Danny says, “Dogs see past how many followers we have and how many tickets we sell. This allows us to relax, be ourselves and not sweat the small stuff. I wanted to make a video that relayed the themes of the song’s lyrics to the confidence and bliss that comes from the relationship with an animal.”

PREVIOUSLY: At turns disturbing, confusing, disgusting, hilarious, mesmerizing and stone cold beatific, Oddsac is perhaps best explained by clarifying what it is not: it is neither a rock documentary nor a concert film, nor is it the kind of film you would see at the cineplex. There are no stars, no car chases, no dreamy romantic interests who meet cute and live happily ever after. In fact, there is no plot, no linear narrative arc. Instead, there is a series of hallucinatory vignettes: a girl attempting in vain to stanch the flow of black goo oozing out of the walls of her home; a ODDSAC POSTERsad-sack vampire (played by Animal Collective’s Josh Dibb, aka Deakin) slowly disintegrating at sunrise after preying on a young boy; an ominous procession of fire spinners led by a gibberish-spouting demon (played by Animal Collective’s Dave Porter, aka Avey Tare); a wigged-out drummer boy (played by Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear) maniacally beating on his kit in the middle of an eerie boulder field; a bearded blue-hued muscle man (played by Animal Collective’s Brian Weitz, aka Geologist) harvesting mysterious eggs from beneath a waterfall; a nuclear family sitting around the camp fire suddenly projectile vomiting foamy marshmallow goo; and it all ends with a food fight. These images are buffered by Perez’s arresting visual abstractions and framed by an untitled set of Animal Collective songs created for the movie. As for the music, Oddsac finds the band continuing to move away from the rhomboidal Fugsian folk-rock of their early albums while eschewing the iridescent dance music of Merriweather Post Pavilian. It is a song cycle cued and composed to the visuals, and as such it is both darker and brighter, more heaven and hell, than anything they have released to date. As cinema, Oddsac is nothing short of remarkable—a mind-fucking eyegasm for people who like that kind of thing. As for what it all means, well, you are at odds with the film’s purpose by even asking. MORE

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