Album of demos and remixes from last year’s “Shields” by indie rock royalty Grizzly Bear. The first five songs are originals and the last three are remixes. I have to say I like some of these songs even better than a few of the cuts that made it onto Shields. It’s pretty astounding that this band’s outtakes are stronger than a lot of other groups’ album material. Textured, detailed, and beautiful. Favorites: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7. No FCCs.
Similar artists/releases: Local Natives “Hummingbird”, Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues”, Darkside “Psychic”, Liars “WIXIW”
1. (6:31) ** Slow to Mid. Soft piano lilt with Rossen’s delicate voice. Takes about a minute to build until Chris Bear’s trademark rolling drums come in. Builds to a lush crescendo in typical Grizzly Bear fashion.
2. (6:22) ** Mid. Busy guitar with a jazzy, shuffling drum beat. Droste’s deep voice commands the attention. Orchestral elements slide in. Wonderfully arranged.
3. (3:27) Slow to Mid. Stark voice and piano with some interesting effected drum hits. Dark mood. Builds about 2:00 in.
4. (2:21) Simple guitar opening with Droste’s elegant voice. A nice calm respite.
5. (6:51) ***** Slow to Fast. Hesitant, jittery, drum beat with dark atmosphere and fragile vocals. About 1:45 in builds into a roiling, psychedelic storm with almost shouted vocals. The closest Grizzly Bear has ever come to fully letting loose. One of my favorite tracks of 2013. Ends with super jazzy soundscape.
6. (7:49) ** NICOLAS JAAR REMIX of “Sleeping Ute”. Slow. One of the best young producers around reminds us why we love him with a clever, moody, remix. Very reminiscent of his new Darkside project.
7. (7:59) ** LIARS REMIX of “A Simple Answer”. Slow to Mid. Really awesome vocal layering before a thumping beat comes in ~3:00. Mainly just makes me excited for their new album coming out in 2014. Love these guys.
8. (6:56) LINDSTROM REMIX of “Gun-Shy”. Fast. Straightforward, dancey remix. Fun. Reviewed by Muscat