It’s been three and a half long years since the Grizzlies gave us ‘Veckatimest’ – the lush, layered wonder that pushed them fully into mainstream consciousness. During that time they’ve proffered a number of excellent side projects (Daniel Rossen’s recent solo venture and Chris Taylor’s CANT were both of an absurdly high quality), sure, but nothing has quite matched the force these four create en masse.
In ‘Shields’, the scale of Grizzly Bear’s previous soundscapes has been somewhat pulled back, but don’t let that
give you any false impressions of a band lacking in ideas. Though there are several tracks here (take the minimal,
Antlers-y lilt of ‘gun-shy’) that make for a less immediate listen, the record overﬂ ows with the tell-tale nuances of a band who have learnt how to translate grandiosity into something more restrained, yet no less forceful. ‘Half
Gate’ is a heart-wrenching, twilit number, built around gentle marching band ﬂ ourishes, baritone strings, and, of
course, the quartet’s gut-wrenching harmonies. Indeed, amongst the barer sonic bones, Grizzly Bear’s extraordinary
vocal skills shine brighter and more brilliantly than ever. ‘Yet Again’ cries out to be played in the balmy, early-evening dusk whilst ‘What’s Wrong’’s sweeping strings envelop completely.
Promise us you won’t leave it this long again, eh guys?