Friday, 10 July 2009

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest [Warp]

A hell of a lot has been said on this album in blog land already with them being one of the indie darlings of the moment getting coverage from everyone from the smallest indie blog to the broadsheet news papers, oh yeah as well as being shit hot and making one of the most compelling and quality indie albums this year of course or that’s what the main jist of pretty much everything I’ve read is anyway. And you know what I agree. This year indie has taken a big back seat its just not been talking to me like it use to, but there is something about Grizzly Bear that draws me in. The previous album Yellow House got me hooked with its spooky Beach Boys from beyond the grave vibes and killer songs like ‘Knife’ and ‘Little Brother’ the whole thing won me over. But Veckatimest is a new beast entirely.

The same elements are in place, the sweet harmonies, gentle atmospheric drums, shimmering guitars and quality song writing but it all has a completely different feel to it. There is a sweet sunshine vibe instead of the hazy ghostly premonitions of Yellow House. The layers have been stripped away, its not as dense that’s for sure. Everything is that little bit simpler in some ways. This isn’t a bad thing it’s just different and leaves a little bit of the Grizzly Bear behind that I fell for, they make up for it though by writing some of their best songs so far.

These tracks would have to be ‘Two Weeks’ and ‘While You Wait For The Others’, they may well have been around for quite some time now ever since they got played in live sessions that were posted on so many sites and blogs including this one if I remember right… But they have lost none of there magic for me; I did refrain from rinsing them out mind. The two tracks are just brilliant the chords and melodies have this 50’s feel and the melancholy sweetness they have is kind of moving.

Video: Two Weeks

That’s not all of the highlights of course, but just the most familiar and catchy. The opening track ‘Southern Point’ is defiantly up there with the best of them on the album. With its glorious reverb and floaty aesthetics it kicks off the album in fine style, it reminds me of a dreamy modern indie version of something from Forever Changes by Love. ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Ready, Able’ are a bit special too. The production is all so clear and full of personality all over the album; you can almost feel that these instruments were recorded in organic lived in spaces rather than a studio. Yet they defiantly have an almost to perfect sound that a big studio brings, this has been laboured over down to the finest detail you can just tell.

The album as a whole flows past you for the most part it’s subtle and doesn’t really fight for your attention. You have to dig deep and keep at it or it will just come across as any old mobile phone advert/coffee table music that has become so common place in indie circles, its certainly easy enough listening for that to happen. Yet Grizzly Bear have this slightly otherworldly feel to them as well as oozing quality. If you’ve been slacking on the indie front like I have of late then this is a good a place as any to get stuck in.

Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails