13 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

If Grizzly Bear’s second album, Yellow House, defined their baroque indie-folk sound, Veckatimest polished it until it gleamed. With its youth choirs ("Cheerleader") and string quartets ("Southern Point," arranged by composer Nico Muhly), the album is an exercise in detail—obsessive and a little dark but still amazingly pop-minded, like The Beach Boys had they been raised on Grimm’s Fairy Tales instead of the sunny California coast. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

If Grizzly Bear’s second album, Yellow House, defined their baroque indie-folk sound, Veckatimest polished it until it gleamed. With its youth choirs ("Cheerleader") and string quartets ("Southern Point," arranged by composer Nico Muhly), the album is an exercise in detail—obsessive and a little dark but still amazingly pop-minded, like The Beach Boys had they been raised on Grimm’s Fairy Tales instead of the sunny California coast. 

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

1513 Ratings

My God...It's full of stars...

stuporfly,

'Veckatimest' is a masterpiece. I know, I'm one of those music geeks who gets overstimulated by music. I can't help myself. And like Fleet Foxes' debut a year ago, Grizzly Bear's new album is such an artistic and emotional triumph, I can't find the proper words to explain just how unequivocally in love with this I am. It's rendered all language meaningless, because there are no words that could possibly describe its beauty powerfully enough. I want to laugh and cry and behave irrationally. The world can be a terrible, lonely place. But maybe not, because if music like this is out there, anything is possible.

Are you ready?

Port City,

A general music fan, unknown to this album, and a devoted lover of Grizzly Bear might expect different things when first playing "Southern Point," but I heed, the same approach should be taken on both parties. Expect "Veckatimest" to be your next favorite album and it will not dissapoint. Analyzing each track is irrelevant when determining the gravity this album produces. Not only will you be so affected by the sounds that come out of your speakers when listening to this, you will struggle to understand and define just what is happening. Other reviews will explain the details and high points, the trademark choral harmonies, haunting, sometimes, tribal rhythms, and just how damn gorgeous "While You Wait For The Others" is, but instruction is all i ask. Make the first listen special, play it as loud as your sensitive ears can bear, and let your heart jump, your bones shiver, and your eyes swell with tears of joy. Get ready my friends, for the ground will literally break beneath you.

About Grizzly Bear

Growing from humble roots into one of the most acclaimed indie rock acts of the 2000s and 2010s, Grizzly Bear began as the home recording project of Boston-bred singer Edward Droste. Holed up in his Brooklyn apartment, he laid the groundwork for the band's otherworldly debut album on a small hand-held tape recorder. His homespun effort took on new life with the help of multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bear, a Chicago native who had worked in musical projects ranging from laptop electronica to free jazz. Bear added instrumentation and vocals to Droste's sonic blueprints, resulting in 2004's Horn of Plenty.

To build a live show for the project, Bear recruited multi-instrumentalist/producer Chris Taylor and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Daniel Rossen. The band's first tours featured improvisations of Droste's early songs; later, they developed new material together, and Rossen began contributing songs of his own. In 2005, Grizzly Bear retreated to Cape Cod to record their first album as a quartet, Yellow House -- a tapestry of multi-layered harmonies, guitars, woodwinds, and electronics set to Droste's and Rossen's songs. Warp released the album in September of 2006. The Friend EP, which featured outtakes and alternate versions of songs as well as covers by Beirut, CSS, and Band of Horses, arrived in 2007.

After touring with Radiohead in 2008, Grizzly Bear recorded their elaborate 2009 album Veckatimest at upstate New York's Allaire Studios. Named for an uninhabited island on Cape Cod, it featured collaborations with contemporary classical composer/conductor Nico Muhly, Beach House vocalist Victoria Legrand, the Acme String Quartet, and the Brooklyn Youth Choir. The album was a resounding success, debuting at number eight on the Billboard 200 and making the band a ubiquitous entry on year-end lists. Later that year, the band reunited with Legrand for "Slow Life," which appeared on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: New Moon. They also contributed a pair of tracks -- "Deep Blue Sea" and the Feist collaboration "Service Bell" -- to the 2009 AIDS benefit album Dark Was the Night.

Following this flurry of activity, Grizzly Bear went on hiatus. They reconvened in 2011 to begin work on their fourth album, but most of the tracks they recorded in Marfa, Texas were discarded. During this time, Taylor released Dreams Come True, his 2011 debut album as CANT, while Rossen issued the 2012 solo EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile. The group started fresh in 2012, returning to where they recorded Yellow House and taking a more collaborative songwriting approach. They released Shields that September and followed it a year later with a deluxe edition that included B-sides, remixes, and previously unreleased songs.

After finishing the Shields tour, the members of Grizzly Bear once again went their separate ways. Rossen moved to upstate New York and worked on his own music; Droste, Bear, and Taylor landed in Los Angeles. Bear's projects included scoring work for the HBO TV series High Maintenance, while Taylor did production work for other artists and wrote the 2015 cookbook Twenty Dinners with his friend Ithai Schori. That year, Grizzly Bear began collaborating again, trading demos remotely and slowly working toward a set of new songs. Recorded at Allaire Studios and Hollywood's Vox Studios, as well as Taylor and Rossen's recording spaces, 2017's Painted Ruins paired wide-ranging lyrics with expansive arrangements in playful, rhythmically driven songs. ~ Bret Love

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