Sunday, 16 September 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #311 - Grizzly Bear, "Shields"

Some primo beatnik supplement-reading business here, I should think.

"Sleeping Ute" sails in on a slightly pomp, wobbly guitar sound and majestic bass with antique, icy keyboard stabs. Louis XIV blues - "But I can't help myself" over the sound of slow, watery volcanoes. Verily, there's a handsome pop instinct running through the middle of "Speak In Rounds", wearing out shoe leather in an attempt to keep up with itself. Happier touches of Arcade Fire. "Yet Again" has me wondering whether they are a Coldplay it's OK to like; and by extension if it's OK to like them or not. There's a similar weedy-multi-tracked vocals bit and some dirtier, skittery sounds too. But I'm erring on the side of enthusiastic clemency.

More of a hushed and muffled drums feel to "The Hunt", and from the lyrics it doesn't seem too clear who is hunting whom. So perhaps the title is ironic, yeah? "A Simple Answer" is something about a "tired mantra/Goes ever onward" and it doesn't sound as though that title is ironic. Pianos are touched in a jazzy chamber. "No wrong, no right/Just do whatever you like" over some fluttering and looming noises. Damned hippies.

"What's Wrong" evokes Sunday night ITV crime dramas. The illusion of some moral slide pinned through with certainties - in a musical form. But the ending is sadder and more complicated and subtler. "gun-shy" smells of the Eighties, not like rotting slip-ons and queasy quiff-gel might smell. Like the scent of Miami Vice lemon trees on a summer evening, Michael Mann-ing itself with grace and neon up the nostrils to the brain. It has soft crunches in the middle, like a loungey Lennon/McCartney break. The melodies stack up sweet and substantial, a stack of smoky pancakes.

There's always a longing touch of gaucho in the songs too. "Half Gate" finds the gaucho riding into an echo chamber pop scenario and finds it provides exactly the sunset he needs to be silhouetted against. "Sun In Your Eyes" is quite the ambitious work, movements here and there, fading in and out, with quite a delicious acoustic guitar thread worked through the middle that makes me think of sunshine on water.

Brooklyn throws out another successful frond.

Rating: Louis XIV Pop out of Sunday Night Jazz Folk

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