Grizzly Bear lead singer Daniel Rossen is on to something good at the moment. After last year’s justly acclaimed Department Of Eagles album In Ear Park on which he co-collaborated, this new release sees his priority band on top form.
Veckatimest (disappointingly named after a small island in Massachusetts and not a Swedish aphrodisiac) is a shimmering, understated ritual of pop elegance with occasional electronic disturbance and the odd blast of percussive wrath. It is the rhythmic and vocal panache that elevates the music beyond similar styles; in regards to the latter, the case is helped by a contribution from each band member, resulting in subtle variety from track to track. Strong catchy opening tracks Southern Point and Two Weeks are counterbalanced nicely by later songs such as Hold Still, where the ambience is hauntingly sweet. Given previous release Yellow House was awash with electro gadgetry and trickery, this predominantly acoustic album is a significant change. Yet as the new songs are simpler in structure and production, this reformed set-up enhances the music to great effect.
On a label where the muscle-bound electronic gods such as Autechre and Aphex Twin bump shoulders, Grizzly Bear flicker quietly in a little niche off to the side. And it is a niche well worth visiting.
Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest is out here on May 22nd on Warp Records
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Review By Andrew Cooke