Modern American indie heroes show off their brilliant new record, Veckatimest
If the latest album from Grizzly Bear was a photo album, it would be full of those bleached-out, soft focus pictures of sunny beach holidays in the 70s, with good-looking hippies lounging around, grinning into the camera. Named after an uninhabited island just off Cape Cod, where most of the record was recorded, Veckatimest takes the Brooklyn band’s lush chamber pop to the next level. It’s still full of swooning, four-part harmonies, echoey pianos and floaty falsettos like their 2006 album, Yellow House, but this time around the folk-pop has become more baroque, more experimental, and more intricately carved out.
Meeting somewhere in the middle of Animal Collective’s esoteric pop, and Fleet Foxes’ swaying folksiness, Grizzly Bear blend the weird with the beautiful. They’ve been on the go for five-odd years now, since bringing out their debut albumHorn of Plenty in 2004. It started out as an experiment in psychedelic folk taped mostly in founding member Ed Droste’s bedroom on a hand-held cassette player. After teaming up with Christopher Bear, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor, their hypnotic freak-folk sound started to spread. Their break came when they signed to Warp, who released Yellow House and brought the band’s appeal up from the underground
Although there are a couple of sleepier points on Veckatimest where it sounds like Grizzly Bear has crawled back under the leaves for some winter hibernation, the chirpy, glowing warmth of ‘Two Weeks’ or soaring symphony of ‘Foreground’ brings the energy levels back up. Woozy weirdness, perfect for warming up a nippy November night.
ABC, Glasgow, Mon 2 Nov