Song of the Week: "Mr Noah" by Panda Bear | Model Behaviors

Song of the Week: “Mr Noah” by Panda Bear

The beginning of this song doesn’t sound like a song at all. There are strange electrical pulses, ominous slices of sound, and creepy dog howls, all processed with effects and melting around each other. Honestly, the first time I listened to Panda Bear’s album, “Panda Bear vs. the Grim Reaper,” I thought about skipping this one. The sounds at the beginning unsettled me.

But then the music comes in. You can still hear the dogs, but the beat and the trippy synths counteract their plaintive howling. You kind of have to dig through everything going on, but soon enough a melody emerges.

Then the vocals start, and they’re droney and strange, bouncing and falling away in off-key eighth notes. As a musician, I have absolutely no idea how Panda Bear would even begin to write a song like this. Everything seems to come out of left field, but at the same time, it’s purposeful and fits together.

“This dog got bit on the leg. He got a really big chip on a leg. Don’t want to get out of bed. Unless he feels like it’s justified,” the chorus begins. Throughout the song, it’s repeated six times. And like most of Panda Bear’s songs, there’s a lot of repetition, but it never bothers me. It’s so far from the kind of repetition we hear in pop songs, which to me can sometimes feel like a songwriter was lazy or uninspired. It always seems necessary in a Panda Bear song. It’s not enough to hear it just once. There’s too much going on to understand it with only one listen.

For me, this song is about the need to be bored every once in a while—the need to be lazy and unkempt—to not give a shit about anything. Well, just until a new inspiration comes along. I like the line, “But he burns like a blaze inside.” It reminds me that even when someone appears lackluster or unmotivated, I shouldn’t underestimate their inner brilliance and spark.

If you like “Mr. Noah,” other great songs from Panda Bear are “Last Night at the Jetty” and “Boys Latin.”

Leave A Comment