Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox has shared the new music video for his Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper centerpiece “Tropic of Cancer,” and the clip boasts a familiar name as director: Lennox’s Animal Collective band mate Dave “Avey Tare” Portner. In the dreamy, super-slow motion video, a family dressed in ostentatious, puffy panda bear suits are enjoying a sunny day before it is interrupted by a lesson in handling a police attack dog.
In a statement, Portner explained why he directed the clip for his longtime Animal Collective cohort and friend. “It’s always been in the spirit of Animal Collective to want to collaborate in many artistic ways with each other,” Portner said. “Having been a fan of Noah’s music since we were teenagers, it’s sweet to finally be able to collaborate with him on something other than just making sounds and songs.” Portner also says the video touches on many of Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper‘s “leitmotifs – family, the animal kingdom, death’s inevitability.”
Animal Collective and its offshoots’ music videos are often visually compelling (see Panda Bear’s trippy animated clip for “Boys Latin”) and Portner, in his first time in the director’s chair, continues on that tradition with “Tropic of Cancer.” “I also am thankful to get my first shot at making something a little more long-running in the visual/video world,” Avey Tare added. “This is one of my favorite songs on the record, hence my being involved with it. I’m grateful and excited to have worked on every moment of it and to have worked with all the sweet people who helped me put it together.”
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Among those “sweet people”: Actor Giovanni Ribisi, who served as Portner’s director of cinematography.