Panda Bear BuoysPanda Bear is not a trained scuba diver. But there he was, on tour with his Animal Collective bandmates, wearing a snorkel and gazing down into the vast Pacific ocean off the East Coast of Australia.

He remembers it vividly as one of the most daunting moments of his life. And it’s a place he returns to often in his music: facing the unknown, and diving in.

Buoys finds the celebrated artist exploring greater depths than ever before. We hear dub bass tones from far below, shimmering acoustic guitar on the surface, flowing hip hop rhythms, and a million small samples swimming between. As always, Panda Bear’s vocals beam back like sonar signals probing the sea floor of consciousness.

Buoys is out Feb 8 via Domino.

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