ar·cane (är-kān') adj. requiring secret or mysterious knowledge;

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Posted in music by arcanedufresne on June 29, 2009

Grizzly Bear has been lauded for the release of their new album, Veckatimest (a small island in Massachusetts) and it’s now my time to weigh in on the release.

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The opening track, Southern Point, is the opening scene to a movie in my head, which is filmed on handheld camera in grainy film, perhaps a lost home video tape, riding in the passenger seat of a car in the late 70s. You find yourself winding your way through a mountainous, tree-lined, narrow passway with the song building along with the climbing elevation, and then you reach the apex of the mount and it’s a glorious vantage point that looks out over an entire valley wooded, river valley. The camera pans around you and your companions and the sun shines so bright it creates momentary sun spots on the film when it hits the right angles. This image could is the mental landscape for the entire album, as the production, instrumentation, vocals and feel of this record is very organic and warming.

Listen to Two Weeks here.

If you have listened to Department of Eagles at all (singer Daniel Rossen’s other band), which I highly suggest, you will definitely hear and feel similarities between the two groups, but there are enough disparities to make this release feel fresh. The lo-fi, indie-folk tone is done so well that I don’t care which of the two bands I am listening to, the end product is great regardless. Grizzly Bear perfect the inner-song, tempo-shifting build up so well and is evidenced for one on the more chaotic conclusion on Fine for Now, which starts as a meandering walk through the woods and ends with a cataclysmic cliff dive. Two Weeks has an Electric Light Orchestra feel to it, which I love. Veckatimest has a simple, successful formula followed throughout; spacious and haunting vocals and backing vocals/choirs, solid rhythm driven by simplistic drum and bass lines, and ambling, echoing guitars that filter in and out with you and the stream of conscious daydream Grizzly Bear has created. About Face is my personal favorite track because it feels like a bike ride through the countryside, and it all comes back to the nature-esque, sun-in-your-eyes, wind in your hair atmosphere and the exposure to all elements of earth and emotion that the record not only captures but infuses in you with each note.

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