Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear

Bow ties. Four-part harmonies. Humming. Make no mistake, Grizzly Bear is a seriously wussy band — but a pretty good one too. All four members sing with equal skill and range, and this album, named for an abandoned island off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., is dedicated to their ability to blend their voices into swirling little atmospheres. On "Two Weeks" a wordless harmony lifts a melody line out of chaos, allowing nominal lead singer Ed Droste to guide it home. "Dory" is a choral exercise that would sound just as at home in a cloister as in a concert hall. The emphasis on sound over message can feel a little precious by album's end, but Grizzly Bear doesn't have to say much of anything when nothing sounds this good.