Welcome to the War on Pop's weekly Tuesday column, "On the Verge", which highlights artists and bands that have received some attention and/or critical acclaim, but that are still not considered a big time act. Musicians of this caliber would most likely be have been found by major indie music critics, such as Pitchfork or Stereogum, but are not exactly ready to go be a headline or second bill at a major festival.
Grizzly Bear has arguably been the most hyped indie-rock group of the past several years, largely due to the efforts of indie-trendsetters like Pitchfork and Stereogum, among others. As a result, the band has grown a considerable following since their inception in 2002. The Brooklyn-based act, created in 2002 as a home recording-project of founding member Edward Droste, has released three full length LPs to date, including their most recent 2009 release Veckatimest. What has resulted through their efforts is some of the best moments in indie-rock, art-rock, folk-rock, experimental/post-rock, psychedelia....basically on top of whatever genre you consider them to be a part of.
Veckatimest is the climax of the band's creative impetus thus far in the career. A combination a warm vocal harmonies, acoustic and electronic instrumentation, and intricate multi-layered textures, Grizzly Bear's sound offers beauty in its complexity and near-perfect arrangements. The group thrives on their knack for well-timed placements of individual riffs, noises, and textures, formulating a final product greater than any one specific piece of the puzzle. Adding in their wide range of musical styles--from their signature, essential pop tracks; to their slower songs, wandering in all their cerebral beauty--fans receive an album that warrants multiple listens in order to get the most out of this album.
With Veckatimest sure to be a familiar face when the Best Albums of 2009 are revealed later this year, Grizzly Bear has safely lived up to their enormous hype that they have received since their beginnings. If they continue to keep the pace at which they have traveled, no one will be surprised if they are headlined major festivals within the next several years.
Be sure to check out the following track after the photo below: