"All my time, I spend it with me now"
I've been a little reluctant to post about this, as it seems to be getting quite a lot of blog love lately (see here for evidence) and as I never really want to be seen as just following the herd, I'd given it a wide berth. Hell, I'd even resisted putting any tracks from it on any of my mixtapes. Slowly but surely, however, Grizzly Bear's Yellow House has crept up in my affections and, after listening to it twice today, I decided that it is one of the best of the year and thus, I should probably write a little something about it. Even if it is on the same day that Pitchfork gave it a rave review.
I try to steer clear of lazy comparisons, but much like Animal Collective did last year with Feels, Grizzly Bear have essentially alloyed the more out-there sounds of 'freak-folk' (I hate that tag, but it seems to fit) with a more accessible indie-rock pallette to create a highly listenable, yet occasionally challenging album that sounds nothing like anything else released this year, but also welcomingly familiar. It's a warm, inviting sound that Grizzly Bear cook up, but one that's infused with an underlying tension, not unlike their spiritual brethren, Akron/Family.
But where A/F tend towards wig-out, sometimes ruining a good song, Grizzly Bear never really do boil over into interminable noise, choosing instead to let the tension simmer, creating a kind of push/pull dynamic within some songs, most notably 'On A Neck, On A Spit'. Yellow House is an album that you can't really just dip in and out of. It's best served as a whole, for the full submersion. However, in the interests of blogging (and because if I put the whole thing up, Warp Records and the BPI will be on my case), I've chosen to highlight the superb closer, 'Colorado'. It's a bit like taking a sneak peek at the last chapter of a book before you start it, really. And you know that you all do that.
Grizzly Bear - Colorado (mp3)
Get the full book, I mean album, here.
Right, football's on.