Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best

Glitchy and skittering, irreverent, refreshing and fun, Gold Panda’s new LP, Good Luck and Do Your Best is damn near essential summer listening.

Inspired by trips to Japan with a photographer, Good Luck and Do Your Best calls to mind the juxtaposition of body moving beats along with a pensive, introspective quality of early Four Tet. From start to finish, the record keeps you nodding your head along in time with the music; it keeps you nodding your head as you get lost in thought.

Before the first track, “Metal Bird,” had even finished during my first listen of the album, I knew I had found something special—the way it slowly and then seamlessly blended elements together: a disembodied vocal sample, a glistening and shimmering pluck of guitar strings, and a loping beat that continues to build.

It’s that kind of transcendental and impressive combination of elements and atmosphere creation that Gold Panda (his birth name is not listed on the Internet) continues as the album progresses—the slow motion, roof top party vibe of “In My Car,” complete with worldly instrumentation included; the swirling, downcast piano progression and thumping beats of “Pink and Green”; and the jazz-infused triumph of the album’s final track, “Your Good Times are Just Beginning.”

Entirely instrumental save for the vocal sample tossed into a few of the early tracks, in less capable hands, Good Luck would be the kind of album you just put on in the background while you go about your business—doing dishes, folding laundry, et. al. But in the hands (or paws, I guess) of Gold Panda, it becomes a listening experience that doesn’t so much demand the attention of the listener—but you can’t help but not become completely enveloped by the soundscape carved out in these eleven tracks.

Never inaccessible and always interesting to hear, Good Luck and Do Your Best is a thought provoking, multi-faceted, emotionally driven and immersive listening experience.