5 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2012 EP by Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, Silent Hour/Golden Mile, features material intended for the next Grizzly Bear album. It's a refocus for Rossen, centering on the emotive and artsy underpinnings that made the Bear's earliest material so engrossing. Always in danger of being overdone by ornate musicianship, Rossen's songs are here kept to a minimum of fuss (by his standards). The overpronounced bass guitar of "Up on High" adds to the attractively askew arrangement, which also features orchestration that's kept tidily in the background. "Silent Song" adds slide guitar pinched from the George Harrison school, while "Golden Mile" goes a stretch further in evoking the ex-Beatle's solo work, with a vocal and arrangement that could place it on All Things Must Pass. "Saint Nothing" is curiously reminiscent of Harrison's bandmate Paul McCartney, with a piano ballad that sounds like a lost early-'70s deep album cut. Despite these obvious reference points, Rossen is a distinct individual who's arguably at his best on his own.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2012 EP by Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, Silent Hour/Golden Mile, features material intended for the next Grizzly Bear album. It's a refocus for Rossen, centering on the emotive and artsy underpinnings that made the Bear's earliest material so engrossing. Always in danger of being overdone by ornate musicianship, Rossen's songs are here kept to a minimum of fuss (by his standards). The overpronounced bass guitar of "Up on High" adds to the attractively askew arrangement, which also features orchestration that's kept tidily in the background. "Silent Song" adds slide guitar pinched from the George Harrison school, while "Golden Mile" goes a stretch further in evoking the ex-Beatle's solo work, with a vocal and arrangement that could place it on All Things Must Pass. "Saint Nothing" is curiously reminiscent of Harrison's bandmate Paul McCartney, with a piano ballad that sounds like a lost early-'70s deep album cut. Despite these obvious reference points, Rossen is a distinct individual who's arguably at his best on his own.

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About Daniel Rossen

A distinctive and prolific songwriter, Daniel Rossen performs with Grizzly Bear, Department of Eagles, and as a solo artist. The grandchild of director Robert Rossen, he was born in Los Angeles on August 5, 1982 and began making music in earnest in 2000, when he became a roommate of Fred Nicolaus at New York University during their freshman year. The duo began writing and recording as Whitey on the Moon UK, ultimately changing their name to Department of Eagles a few years and EPs later. In 2004, Rossen joined Grizzly Bear and appeared on that year's album Horn of Plenty. Meanwhile, in 2005, a collection of Department of Eagles' early works, The Cold Nose, was issued by the U.K. label Melodic (it arrived in the U.S. with bonus tracks two years later). The following year, Grizzly Bear released their breakthrough album, Yellow House, while another Department of Eagles EP, the odds-and-sods collection A Johnny Glaze Christmas: Classical Snatches and Samples a Go-Go, was also released.

During that time, Rossen and Nicolaus continued to work on tracks, gathering enough material for an album by late 2007. Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear, as well as bassist Nat Baldwin, joined the duo for the sessions, which were completed in spring 2008; the resulting album, In Ear Park, was inspired by Rossen's late father and released by 4AD that fall. In 2009, Grizzly Bear's ambitious third album, Veckatimest, was released, and in 2010, the Department of Eagles collection Archive 2003-2006, which included tracks from their aborted sophomore album and pieces that were later used by Grizzly Bear, arrived. After his touring duties with Grizzly Bear subsided, Rossen began work on a set of songs intended for a new album from that band, but he ended up recording them largely by himself, recruiting horn arrangements from Ian Davis and Kris Nolte, lap steel player Scott Hirsch, and Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick for help on selected tracks. The result was the Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP, which Warp released early in 2012. ~ Heather Phares

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