Album ReviewsReviews

Panda Bear and Sonic Boom come together for a collaborative album titled “Reset”


Text by Bash Ortega

Panda Bear and Sonic Boom’s upcoming collaborative release, Reset, is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the duo: Interesting instrumentation, upbeat melodies, and rhythm-focused tracks.

Panda Bear and Sonic Boom are long-time friends and their styles seamlessly mesh on this album. Reset started with Sonic Boom sampling some of his favorite old records before modifying them and sending them along to Panda Bear to sing and play over the samples. Sonic Boom even contributes vocals on some tracks, getting out of his comfort zone. 

The album gets right to the point with the first song appropriately titled “Gettin’ to the Point” – a psychedelic track featuring acoustic guitar chords, and rhythmic synths. The track is playful and a good example of what you’ll experience on the rest of the record. 

The next track and first single, “Go On” is one of my personal favorites, and I’ve found myself returning to it, perhaps because of its repetitive, trance-like nature. The harmonies on the title vocals of “Go On” bring emphasis and interest to the repeated lyrics.

Edge of the Edge”, one of the other singles on this album follows the more relaxed, meditative track, “Everyday”. “Edge of the Edge” is a fun upbeat song, and the combination of these tracks is a good example of how Panda Bear and Sonic Boom are controlling our energy levels throughout the album. The single is also a good example of Sonic Boom’s creative sampling as it loops music from “Denise” by Randy and the Rainbows. 

“Whirlpool” is another one of my personal favorites on the album –another meditative psychedelic track. Once again this song features repetitive lyrics, and interesting harmonies, a trademark of this album. Panda Bear and Sonic Boom do a really good job of making this song sound aquatic with reversed vocals, a vocoder, and gated synths.

Despite being one of the shortest songs on the album, “Livin’ in the After” packs a huge punch. It starts off fairly sparse with mostly just a synth, some light percussion, and some strings. Once the vocals come in, fun instrumentation begins to build and the percussion and strings come to the forefront of the song.

The final track, “Everything’s Been Leading to This” is aptly titled as it is the last song on the album. It is a pleasant end to the album and continues the psychedelic and repetitive sound of Reset.

This album is a very fun listen, and if you’re already a fan of Panda Bear and Sonic Boom, this is another album where they consistently deliver the music that we’ve come to expect from them. Reset could easily be put on repeat for you to enjoy the psychedelic atmosphere of the record.

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The record is out on August 12, 2022. You can also find more details here on the just announced Reset online listening party on Thursday, August 11 at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET / 1 am BST. Listen to the album & join for a live Q&A.

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