Young Prayer is the second solo album released by Animal Collective member Noah Lennox (stage name Panda Bear.) The album was a critical success, even being labeled "Best New Music" by Pitchfork. Notably, none of the songs on the album has a title because Lennox wanted the album to be "one nugget of sound. I put the track markers in there just to separate the sections."
The songs were all written around the time of the death of Lennox' father. About this fact, Lennox said:
It was more a gift to my father when he was sick and I wanted to make him happy if I could and I wanted to cheer him up and I wanted to tell him that he’d done really great in his time. I was pretty fucked up but I wanted to keep going and I wanted to have strength and I suppose that comes out in the recording. I wouldn’t say it was therapeutic though, at least I never thought of it that way.
In another Interview, Lennox got into detail about this:
[...] he [his father] did get to hear the roughs of the album’s songs, if not the finished version. That was recorded in the room he actually died in, so it was especially intense. With Young Prayer, I wanted to tell him that he had taught me really well. I wanted to be like, ‘It’s been really good hanging out and learning from you, you’ve been a really good man and set a good example’.
The whole album was written in a very quick process and recorded with Animal Collective member Deakin in "two or three days or something."
According to the artist, it "is very classically influenced. All the weird baroque flourishes and stuff in terms of the way I’m singing. And that was definitely intentional, I set out to do something that sounded like that."
The album was produced and mixed entirely without Lennox by Rusty Santos and the rest of Animal Collective. Though it was changed quite a bit during the post-production, Lennox was "very happy with the way it sounded" when he received the result.