Tomboy is the fourth solo album by Animal Collective member Noah Lennox (stage name Panda Bear). According to his website, Tomboy was slated for release "near the end of 2010" but the album release was delayed until 2011. Lennox mentioned Tomboy would be a departure from his signature sound on Person Pitch and Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion. About the new direction, Lennox said: "I got tired of the severe parameters of using samplers. Thinking about Nirvana and The White Stripes got me into the idea of doing something with a heavy focus on guitar and rhythm." The album was released in full on April 4, streaming online, and leaked online on April 5.
Lennox had mentioned that Tomboy's release would be similar to that of Person Pitch in that several singles would be released on different labels prior to its release, "Doing the singles helps me focus on every song and also helps me move along in the process." The first single, "Tomboy" was released on Paw Tracks July 13, 2010, with a digital release following a week later. The first and only pressing sold out quickly. Another two singles, "You Can Count on Me" and "Last Night at the Jetty", were released later in the year on Domino and FatCat respectively. "Surfer's Hymn", the last of the four planned singles, was released by Kompakt on March 28 with a remix by London musician Actress.
On January 14, 2011, Lennox announced via Facebook that the album would be released on April 19 of that year, and it was later moved up a week to April 12 so it would be available on Record Store Day. Two listening parties for the album were held in New York City on February 16, and another two in Los Angeles on February 28.
The first 1000 pressings of the vinyl were printed on translucent wax, and initial copies of the album came with a download card redeemable for a free digital copy of Live at Governor's Island, a recording of a New York show by Panda Bear from September 11, 2010.
A limited edition box set for the album was released on November 1, 2011 with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. It contains four LPs featuring: the Tomboy full length with slightly different mixing on two LPs, Noah's single mixes on one LP, and several Tomboy unreleased instrumentals and a cappellas, plus "The Preakness" and a 16 page art booklet.
Pitchfork placed the album at number 32 on its list of the "Top 50 albums of 2011".
Rolling Stone placed the album at number 37 on its list of the "Top 50 albums of 2011".
In an interview with NYCTaper in September 2010, Josh Dibb of Animal Collective revealed that he and bandmate Dave Portner had been requested to mix the album on its completion. However, due to the fact that both of them were busy at the time, it was later reported that the album was being mixed by Sonic Boom, former Spacemen 3 member and producer of psychedelic pop band MGMT's second album, Congratulations.