Sometimes I am late in catching on to stuff, but think it's good enough to still feature cuz, well, people should know about it if they don't already. I only got into Animal Collective recently (basically when everyone and their cat did), so this is probably why I am just hearing about Panda Bear recently. Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox, is a member of Animal Collective, and his solo record "Young Prayer" was released in 2004. If you enjoy AC you'll most likely warm up to "Young Prayer", though I wouldn't say they're very similar. Lennox is still using a relatively unorthodox approach to songwriting, which one could say is along the lines of AC's material.
Despite this writing style, I hit it off with this album right away, (yes, we are now in a committed, loving relationship). I have a soft spot for artists who don't need to be too flamboyant with their "indie-ness", and can pull off a great introspective album without seeming too pretentious. Most of the time I can't actually understand what Lennox is saying because I'm too busy listening to his soft, high-pitched voice over the guitar picking, clapping, vibes, or whatever other sparse noise he's decided to use. I also can't glean from the song-titles what the songs are about since he's gone away with those entirely (each song is referred to "Untitled 1", "Untitled 2", etc.). No worries, i'm sure that's unimportant. My favourite track is "Untitled 6", which starts out probably as raucous as any of the songs will get, and then peeters off into this melancholiness. I'm hoping with AC's newfound fame, Panda Bear gets the attention he deserves. Enjoy!