Panda Bear‘s album from January, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper remains one of my favorites of the year. While it might not have reached the heights of his previous work, it’s still a beautiful, airy re-entrance into the strange world of Noah Lennox. His latest EP, which reworks some of the album’s work, updates some of his old live stuff, and throws in some B-sides, is a solid addition to his catalog.
The update to “Crosswords,” one of my favorite tracks on the album, is good though fairly unnecessary. “No Mans Land” and “Jabberwocky” feel a little busy, and it’s pretty clear why those weren’t included on the main album. But those blips are more than made up for with the stunning, beautifully kinetic “The Preakness,” a song that has made appearances in live Panda Bear sets over the year and finally got the attention it deserved in the studio. Panda Bear hilariously ends the album with “Cosplay,” a silly, spare song that repeats an all too real refrain: “marijuana makes my day.” Never change, Panda.