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Baker's Dozen

Bear Necessities: Gold Panda's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 1st, 2016 08:29

Following the release of his third album, Good Luck And Do Your Best, Derwin talks to John Freeman about the 13 albums, from Michael Jackson to the Akira soundtrack, that helped shape his Gold Panda project


Songs: Ohia – Ghost Tropic
This album is wicked – it is super depressing. Jason Molina was the main person in the band. As with some of the other people we have been talking about, I don't know much about Jason. I like to keep it that way – it is the album that I like. Apparently, he was very troubled and died a couple of years ago from his struggles with various addictions over a period of time.

For me, being a depressed teenager, Ghost Tropic was the perfect soundtrack. It is hard to describe – it is a folk-rock record at heart, but it is really claustrophobic, with lots of very slow, deliberate drumming and sounds that could almost be the rumbling of thunder. The guitar notes are plucked and there are lots of other interesting percussive sounds that I like – I think they are using woodblocks. It sounds like it was all recorded in one take in a barn. It sounds beautiful.

The album is very intimate because all of the sounds are very close and it contains two interludes called 'Ghost Tropic' that use the sounds of tropical birds and ghostly bell chimes. I have to say, although the rest of the album is also intimate, there are elements that sound colder to me – the vocals are quite brittle. It feels like they could break at any moment and that the tracks are on the brink of breaking apart. It is very sparse. I think it is a great album, even if it is very depressing.