Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest

Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest
[9.8, Warp, 2009]

I bought "Veckatimest" back in July at Amoeba Records in San Francisco. I had heard "Two Weeks" on The Current many times and decided to check out the entire album,I had no previous knowledge of who Grizzly Bear was or what their music sounded like. Until now (October) I hadn't gotten into the album at all.
And What a fantastic album it is. "Veckatimest" (For those wondering what the title refers too, its an island off the coast of Massachusetts.) starts off with the pleasant "Southern Point" which is like multiple songs in one. It starts off with a jazzy beat and then starts a big sounding chorus with lots of harmonies, finishing with a happy piano sound. "Two Weeks" is the obvious single off the album and is the most accessible to more casual fans. Even after countless listens it never gets old. "All We Ask" is a very march-y sounding tune with drumrolls, and dynamics. (For fans with short attention spans this is not the song for you, it may seem boring at first.)
"Cheerleader" is one of the most experimental songs on the album full of bass and vocal effects, echoey backing vocals and sampled handclaps. Nico Muhly does the choral arrangements on this and lends a hand doing string arrangements "Southern Point," "Ready, Able," and "Foreground." The next track "Dory" sounds like a musical song about a boat. The Beginning really shows Grizzly Bear's singing capabilities. (This may sound like a choir to some and The Brookly Youth Choir appears on a couple of songs but not this one.)
"While You Wait For The Others" is the 2nd single off the album and is certainly as good if not better than lead single "Two Weeks." It is certainly the most rock sounding song on the album. I hear a bit of The Beatles in the guitar parts. "I Live With You" is another faster paced song with stomping rhythms, dynamics and horns. "Foreground" is a beautiful piano piece that ends the album on a peaceful note. This is one interesting album filled with many different instruments, sounds and effects that expand Grizzly Bear's sound. A solid. 9.8. We'll see where this one ends up in my top 10. I bet it'll be in the top 5.

-Eliot Larson, October 14th, 2009.