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One of the world’s most celebrated alternative bands return with the bold and breathtaking follow-up to their international breakthrough record.
Grizzly Bear will follow their US Top 10 and UK Top 25 breakthrough record ‘Veckatimest’ with ‘Shields’, a bold yet textured masterpiece.
The album comes as a result of the band writing and recording in a more cohesive way than ever before, delivering anthemic singles (‘Yet Again’, ‘Speak In Rounds’) and stunning orchestral climaxes (‘Sun In Your Eyes’) across the space of its ten tracks.
Asked which tunes on ‘Shields’ belong to which songwriter, every member balks and explains that, for the first time, these are actually full-band numbers. Both in process and product, this is Grizzly Bear as they’ve never been. The words come matched by a sound that is more passionate than proper, a quality earned by spending less time on the perfect take than on the proper feeling. “This has a different energy behind it,” concludes Ed Droste (vocals). “‘Veckatimest’ was a little more of a polite album; the desire to keep the vocals smooth might have kept a little distance between us and the audience. This one feels a bit more rough and exposed, so that on ‘Shields’, everything speaks for itself.”
Martin says: The ornately wrought ironwork of "Veckatimest" was always going to be a very tough act to follow, but, in my humble opinion, Grizzly Bear have quietly surpassed it with "Shields". The rhythmic twists and turns are still there, as are the intricately crafted, angular song structures and Ed Drost’s aching vocal harmonies; but if in its predecessor’s overreaching ambition emotion and overall direction were occasionally lost, with "Shields" the expression has been honed, and to an exquisite degree. Grizzly Bear are the sum of divergent parts and that’s reflected in their complex, hard to pin down sound – if you need references (and they are loose) then, maybe Jeff Buckley’s muscular anguish and the melodic end of Animal Collective might serve. Best not to take my word for it though, investigate them for yourself; there’s a very, very good chance you’ll find it worth the effort.
1. Sleeping Ute
2. Speak In Rounds
4. Yet Again
5. The Hunt
6. A Simple Answer
7. What's Wrong
9. Half Gate
10. Sun In Your Eyes