When we were assigned this blog post, I immediately knew which story I wanted to write about. I had just read Pitchfork’s feature “The Wanderer” about 36-year-old musician Noah Lennox, better known as his stage name Panda Bear. A decade ago, he left America for Lisbon, Portugal, where he now lives with his wife and two kids. So Philip Sherburne visited him to capture the essence of the European home and its influence on Lennox’s music.
The layout is very clean, simple, and easy to navigate, but there are multiple layers and elements that are cohesive and eye-catching as you scroll down the article. Before you even begin reading the story, there is a music player so that you can enjoy the sounds of Panda Bear while reading about him, which makes for a very immersive music story experience. The top of the story begins with the title painted across a moving image, a GIF of Lennox walking on the shore of a beach toward the water. Various GIFs are interspersed throughout the story, in addition to a few cinemagraphs, which are similar to GIFs but have more isolated movements layered over a video still.
Quotes in script typography are layered over some of these images, which adds another layer to the story and gives sort of a three-dimensional illusion. These images and text really add to the story because it illustrates the mood and paints a picture of the musician and his environment, which is exactly what the story is about.
There is one image where Lennox is at a soundboard, so you can assume he’s a musician, but other than that, someone who isn’t a seasoned music nerd might not know what this story is about if he or she didn’t know what Pitchfork was. Someone might argue there should be more photos of him playing music, but I think that would be too boring and easy. With music features, it’s more interesting to see musicians in a different perspective because there are already countless images of them behind their instruments or on stage.
At the end of the story, Lennox is walking away from the water toward the camera, which loops back to the first image of the page, giving a complete circle and end to a multimedia story. The images are beautiful and the order in which they appear are strategic and effective.