Sound: A mix of psychedelic folk with hippie-friendly harmonies (think Crosby, Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane), dreamy, wall-of-sound orchestrations with warm falsetto melodies and otherworldly choirs (think Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys), trippy jazz-fusion rock (think early Pink Floyd) and progressive chamber pop (think Gentle Giant). The majority of these gorgeous, vintage sounds don’t necessary feel like they were recorded in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Most of the time, they incorporate modern, indie rock elements like swirling electric guitars, fuzzy basslines, and punchy organs, along with just enough contemporary fidelity to make these bold compositions sound current—with a strong nod to the past.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “While You Wait For The Others” (Top 20 Songs of 2009 Candidate); “Two Weeks”; “All We Ask”; “Fine For Now”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Cheerleader”; “Southern Point”; “Foreground”
Recommended: If you thought Grizzly Bear’s previous work (including the Department of Eagles side project) lacked enough of a pulse and focus to keep you interested for a whole album, Veckatimest has come along to change the way you think about Grizzly Bear. The first five tracks stunningly push their sound into exciting new directions, and the album finishes strong. If the middle section had a little more oomph, this could be a masterpiece. Regardless, the majority of the album captures the imagination and announces the arrival of a band trying—and mostly succeeding—to make spectacular music.
Grade: A- (Strong Top 20 Albums of 2009 Candidate)