The lo-fi nursery rhyme folk of Grizzly Bear’s last album, Yellow House, was understated and quietly gorgeous. It also needed more variation and deeper reserves of energy to push it to another level.
Veckatimest moves into new, more assertive, more productive territory. The opener, ‘Southern Point’, begins with a full minute of what sounds alarmingly like acid jazz, but then the tempo jumps a gear as Byrds guitar sounds and cries of “You’ll never find me now in the air” drive the song into the realms of unashamed psych pleasure.
Then we have ‘Two Weeks’, possibly the album’s best track, a haunting tune sung in delicious falsetto over a two-note bar-room piano riff and a rumbling bass that comes on like a fairground marching band. It’s seriously exuberant, but the lyrics coldly dissect a short-lived relationship.
’While You Wait for the Others’ lines up bursts of crunchy, fuzz guitar alongside bitter, confrontational lyrics. The song rolls to a big crescendo, helped by unexpected, fantastic bursts of harmony singing that verge on the gospel.
With a line in cheerful experimentation, a penchant for sun-drenched close harmony voices, and a confidence all of their own Grizzly Bear have produced something special. This is a record that only they could have made.