Archive for the ‘Grizzly Bear’ Category

Review: Grizzly Bear — “Shields”

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Grizzly Bear ShieldsYet again, Grizzly Bear have managed to churn out a wonderfully crafted record to delight fans who have been waiting patiently for a follow up to their critically acclaimed album, Veckatimest Now, after three years and constant touring, the band have released Shields to a wider and more welcoming audience.

Grizzly Bear (along with Daniel Rossen’s side project Department of Eagles) are one of those bands who I turn to when I start to feel a disconnection to what I’ve always loved in songwriting and music. Their uniqueness really appeals as I’m drawn to admire the musical talent of each member and what they offer in constructing each song. Shields feels more democratic in the way that they have approached their songwriting and style compared to previous recordings. There is no doubt that these four gentlemen have crafted a unique and worldly blend of sound that can’t be heard anywhere in the world.

The album begins at a cracking pace with a fluttering yet unmistakable Daniel Rossen riff in ‘Sleeping Ute’, which is a change from previous albums where listeners are greeted with a softer approach from the band. This powerful song just flows, combining a nonchalant feel with beautiful lyrics and harmonies. ‘Gun-Shy’ is another delightfully quirky number that showcases Ed Droste’s compatibility with Rossen harmonies. The lyrics “The sky keeps staring at me” draws you in as the simplistic beat provided by Christopher Bear keeps you transfixed on the relationship between dreamy melodies and various instruments.

Throughout the album there is sense that every note and lyric appears to have been carefully cut and pasted, resulting in typical drifty arrangements, Jazzy drum beats and vocal harmonies to rival the Beach Boys.

Those of you who have come to notice Grizzly Bear via Johnny Greenwoods comments on how they’re his favorite band, or through the fresh sounding tunes of Veckatimest may find Shields a little harder to swallow. It feels warm but challenging, although in an accessible way. For those of you who have experienced the raw delights of Ed Droste’s bedroom recordings of ‘Horn Of Plenty’ or the underground classic of ‘Yellow House’, the lush, beautiful arrangements and lyrics of Shields are a musical step in the right direction. It is a charming complimentary dish to the main which is Veckatimest, however the future will decide where Shields will rate in Grizzly Bear’s catalogue. Personally, it’s just nice to hear new music from these outstanding musicians.

Grizzly Bear — “Yet Again”

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Grizzly BearThere’s a new Grizzly Bear record coming out in mid-September (which, incidentally, is looking to be a pretty crowded time in terms of album releases).

After “Sleeping Ute” dropped a couple of months ago, we’ve been keenly anticipating more stuff from Shields. The recently released “Yet Again” gives us more opportunities for getting excited about this record, which should hopefully justify the mouth-frothing of the blogosphere.

Yeah, I said “blogosphere”. Sorry.

Also: hello reverb.

Stream the track below.