If you have found this blog, it probably means you were searching for something that isn’t in the public eye. My intention is to promote awareness of artists that you would otherwise likely never know existed. If you like what you hear, support the artist by purchasing their music so that they can continue to create, and enjoy the release in the quality they intended.

Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Axis of Metal.

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Posted by T. Bawden Sunday, 24 May 2009

Album: Veckatimest
Artist: Grizzly Bear
Released: 2009
Rating: 4.5/5

First off, I have no idea what the title means. But anyway, I didn't get the hype surrounding Grizzly Bear's past two albums, Horn of Plenty and Yellow House. They were pleasant enough psych-folk records but they were kinda boring and dragged on too long. However, with Veckatimest, Edward Droste and co. finally seem to have made an album deserving of the praise heaped upon this group (well, group for Yellow House and Veckatimest, on Horn of Plenty it was just Droste).

Veckatimest is an album where textures and atmospheres are as important as the songs themselves. The album's production is given a wide-open, cavernous feel where the music can resonate and echo. There's lots of space in between all of the instruments to keep everything nice and clear, and the silence in between the notes is as important as the notes themselves. Making the music feel epic is just as important as playing it to Grizzly Bear.

Grizzly Bear also put a lot of care and attention to detail into the music itself. The music is still vaguely psychedelic folk-rock, but this time around they've decided to trim all the excess fat that plagued Yellow House. The songs are shorter and more focused this time around. Vocal harmonies are put to good use throughout, rising and falling throughout the songs. Most of the songs use mainly acoustic guitars, although an occasional electric is used and occasional fuzz is added to the bass. Other instruments like piano and strings pop up throughout to complement the songs.

The most impressive thing about the music is the restraint with which all the instruments are used. Songs like "Two Weeks" and "While You Wait For The Others" may feature everything (multiple vocal harmonies, pianos, string sections, etc.), but they still manage to utilize silence as much as they do everything else. Subtle techniques like the utilization of contrast help add to the recording's power.

This one's definitely worth picking up.

Highlights: "Two Weeks", "All We Ask", "While You Wait For The Others"



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Guide to the Ratings
0/5 - This caused me physical pain
1/5 - This is really bloody awful
2/5 - This was below average
3/5 - This was above average
4/5 - This was pretty darn good.
5/5 - I cannot fault this epitome of perfection.

I cant guarantee all reviewers adhere to these guidelines, but work as a general guide.

Author's credit is given on all posts.