NAME: Grizzly Bear
PROGRESS REPORT: Mixing It’s called Veckatimest.)
Grizzly Bear’s 2006 LP Yellow House is both huge and intricate: an album so pretty it can overwhelm you, especially if you start thinking about all the little details and layers that it contains. It’s hard to believe most of it was recorded in just one month. This album around Grizzly Bear is taking their time. Ed Droste says they began working on the record last July, hitting three major locations for months at a time, recording at a more relaxed pace. Recording’s in the “11th hour.” “We are trying to be extra thorough with this recording/release process by not rushing anything and allowing ourselves as much time as needed to make sure everything is exactly as we want it,” says Droste. “With past releases there have been small regrets of how we would have preferred things and I think this time we are just covering all the bases and making sure every member of the band has exhausted all the ideas and concepts they’ve wanted to explore.” They’re been working on bringing vocals and drums to the front, balancing how they sound live with their studio sound. Droste promises something fuller and more vibrant that Yellow House. The results could be overwhelming once again.
Droste says recording is complete, and even the artwork is done, but that Chris Taylor has been “mixing his brains out” since last December. Recording started in July at Glen Tonche in upstate New York, where the band began writing songs together and rehearsing for their 2008 tour with Radiohead. “I of course was optimistic and utterly wrong that we could essentially finish the album there,” Droste says. Tour and the Department of Eagles album moved recording back a bit further, until the band continued to record at Droste’s family’s home in Cape Cod. The band returned to NYC for the rest of fall and winter, working with a girl’s choir and a string quartet. They also did some recording in a church. “The natural reverb is incredible. [The] only downside is it’s quite cold in the winter.”
While Yellow House was a mostly Dan Rossen and Ed Droste affair, this time every member traded songwriting duties, collaborating on songs with each other or bringing in their own. “Essentially every permutation and combination of songwriting happened this time through and it was really a fun, different approach to the whole process,” says Droste. “I think everyone was just a lot more open minded and excited about collaborating. We’ve grown up a lot since we recorded Yellow House in the summer of 2005, so I think everyone feels a lot more at ease in their skin and with their talents.” Composer Nico Muhly came in to help with string quartet arrangements, which Droste called “gorgeous” but “used sparingly” on the new record. If you’ve got tickets to their February 28th show with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, you can expect to hear most of the material both with the orchestra and in a 45-minute set from just the band.
Droste say Beach House’s Victoria Legrand does make a guest appearance on “Two Weeks.” As far as how “Two Weeks” and “While You Wait For Others” have changed since their big live debuts, Droste says they’ve gotten “Fuller! Livelier! Clearer!” But you’ll still love them.
Here are the new tunes we’ve heard so far. (Boston bootleg via One For The Good Days.)
- Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks” (Live On Letterman)Download
- Grizzly Bear – “While You Wait For The Others” (Live At Morning Becomes Eclectic)Download
- Grizzly Bear – “Cheerleader” (FKA “2 Hud”) (Live In Boston 8/14/08)Download
- Grizzly Bear – “Fine For Now” (Live In Boston 8/14/08)Download
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