Grizzly Bear was the nickname of Ed Droste’s boyfriend at the same time that the band was actually just a solo project in 2002. Two years later he releases his first work with the collaboration of his to be drummer, Christopher Bear. “Horn of Plenty” was an Hypnotizing piece performed live with their to be bassist Chris Taylor. However Ed remember those first shows as their worse and resembles the band only really starts when Daniel Rossen, an old friend from jazz camp, joined them live with another guitar. And the whole scary situation of a solo project was gone with the wind for the somehow shy Ed.
When in 2006 they released “Yellow House” their second album, first as a four piece band, they immediately showed the World that they were as weird as they come and we loved it. Their futuristic Indie Rock ten years ago was part of the embodiment of this neo-psychedelia generation born a couple of years later. Coming from Brooklyn, New York they had it easier with an open-minded audience that was ready to listen to such an experimental album. However the task of keeping these specific audience always entertained was thorough. Their quality was recognized by many publications that called it “One of the Best Albums of 2016”. We sure would have done it, but at least I was ten at the time and probably listening to some Queen songs.
The pure combination of Folk and Experimental Rock of their second album was blown away with pure rock arising from the so called EP, which is in reality more of an experimental third album named “Friend”, their best work so far. With the latter two albums they were opening Radiohead concerts in 2008 while writing what would be their fifth work, “Veckaminest”, famous for “Two Weeks”, the song one listens every time one wants instantaneous happiness that echoed in way too many commercials. Greenwood, member of Radiohead called them his favorite band back then and Chris, member of GB, felt that experience was “like a dream come true”. Those good times culminated with an incredible reception of their audience to this sound that would later shape a lot of this new era we have been witnessing a couple of years from now in their hometown, Brooklyn, with the dream pop vibes coming from there being heavily influenced by such songs as “Ready Able” and “About Face”.
Its in 2012 that they release their sixth work and the one just before “Painted Ruins”, that started with a song by Daniel Rossen that was at the time starting to embark in a solo project, releasing in the same year an EP. “Shields” was the name of this work, reviewed by many as their best. At the time they were selling out all the shows from their Tours while playing always in a straight horizontal line wearing bowties showing not only politeness as well as an extreme humbleness that reflects upon their long and beautiful career. A way more introspective music experience that mixed harmoniously with their orchestral melodies.
Finally arriving to “Painted Ruins” five years after their last original work and three years after Ed’s divorce as well as their last live performance, in Sidney where they sold out the show and did one of the first live streams on Youtube. This is an album that comes from the future. As above mentioned, they have been predicting with some years in advance kind of what music would sound around their neighborhood at least, if not worldwide. However this is probably their first album without a really defined line of thought bouncing back and forwards between intense intense vocals (“Three Rings) and spacial instrumentals (“Four Cypresses”) that reflect earlier lines resemblant of “Veckaminest”.
“Aquarian” is an incredible Indie Rock song with all the ghosty vibes we love that leave you triggered until the very last guitar chord unfolds. “Cut-Out” is probably one of my favorites, coming from a different background than any other song already mentioned, which occurs often in this album since coherence happens more in the connection of all the little details of every song instead of in the album as whole. With Age come experience and that is severally noted in this new work. However some of this experience was turned into boredom in some parts of their songs, something that before would rarely happen.
We can’t be too tough as well. We are used to have 9/10 albums every time they release something. Maybe this one would be just a little bit worse, since it lacks that triggering feeling in the whole album experience. However I do recognize it as one of the Best Albums of the Year, and without a doubt one of the best comebacks we could have asked for.