|Grizzly Bear — Yellow House
Grizzly Bear — Yellow House (September 5, 2006)
♠ Ambiciózní, kreativní hudba s emocionálním podtónem a zní to jako soundtrack. Jsou tady fragmenty, úryvky, kombinace vokálních harmonií s dřevěnými nástroji a postupy Beach Boys se špetkou Velvet Underground. Struktura alba a songwriterství jsou už mnohem soustředěnější. Je to širokoúhlé, snové, psychedelické a nadčasové i s Owenem Pallettem v sestavě. Stále však jsou momenty, kdy zvuk není úplně propracovaný tak, jak by mohl být. Více peněz, lepší studio, a kdo ví, co by se mohlo stát. Přesto jedno z best alb roku 2006 na světě. The string arrangements on "Marla" were composed and performed by Owen Pallett, with Christopher Bear noting that their collaboration stemmed from his contribution to the band's remix album, Horn of Plenty (The Remixes) (2005).
♠ As Horn of Plenty was a solo effort by Droste, this record is truly the band's "debut" as it features all members contributing to the writing and production of the album. Recordings took place throughout July 2005 in the house of Droste's grandmother on Cape Cod.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Album release: September 5, 2006
Recorded: July 2005
Record Label: Warp
01. Easier 3:44
02. Lullabye 5:15
03. Knife 5:14
04. Central & Remote 4:54
05. Little Brother (lyrics by Fred Nicolaus) 6:25
06. Plans 4:17
07. Marla (co–written by Marla Forbes) 4:56
08. On a Neck, On a Spit 5:47
09. Reprise 3:20
10. Colorado 6:14
♠ All songs written and composed by Christopher Bear, Edward Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor, except where noted.
♠ Rossen 1, 5, 8, 9
♠ Droste/Rossen 2
♠ Droste 3, 4, 6, 7, 10
♠ Christopher Bear — drums, vocals, xylophone, lap steel, glockenspiel
♠ Edward Droste — vocals, keyboard, autoharp, guitar
♠ Daniel Rossen — vocals, guitars, banjo, piano, autoharp
♠ Chris Taylor — clarinet, flute, saxophone, vocals, keyboard, bass, electronics and treatments
♠ G. Lucas Crane tapes ("Plans")
♠ Owen Pallett strings, string arrangements ("Marla")
♠ John Marshman strings ("Marla")
♠ Chris Taylor producer, recording, mixing
♠ Chris Coady mixing
♠ Patryce Bak photography
♠ Ben Tousley design♠ Yellow House is the second studio album by American indie rock band Grizzly Bear, released on September 5, 2006 on Warp Records. Produced by bass guitarist and multi–instrumentalist Chris Taylor, the album's title refers to vocalist Ed Droste's mother's house where the majority of recording took place.
♠ The album is the first to feature both Taylor and vocalist and guitarist Daniel Rossen, and received critical acclaim upon its release, significantly increasing the band's exposure. An EP, Friend, was released the following year featuring material recorded mostly during the same sessions.
Yellow House (2006–2008):
♠ Their first record as a quartet and to feature material written by Rossen, Yellow House, was released on Warp Records in September 2006. It was named for Droste's mother's house where it was recorded and ranked as one of the top albums of 2006 by the New York Times and Pitchfork Media. In 2007, Rossen recorded a cover of JoJo's single "Too Little Too Late" for Droste's twenty–ninth birthday. Also in 2007, the band released Friend, an EP which features outtakes, alternate versions of songs, and covers of Grizzly Bear material done by Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), Band of Horses, and Atlas Sound. In addition, members of the Dirty Projectors and Beirut collaborated with the band on "Alligator" and the EP's hidden track.
♠ Background: following the release of Horn of Plenty in 2004, Grizzly Bear expanded from being the solo moniker for vocalist Ed Droste into a full band, with the addition of Horn of Plenty collaborator Christopher Bear, bassist and multi–instrumentalist Chris Taylor, and guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rossen. Christopher Bear noted, “Getting together the band for the live show changed things quite a bit, in terms of dynamics and instrumentation used. The songs [on Horn of Plenty] were quite simple and open ended so it left a lot of room for interpretation, which was great because it allowed us to get a band sound happening and working on a very reactionary level.”REVIEW
By Mark Richardson; September 6, 2006; Score: 8.7
♠ Consider Grizzly Bear's cover of Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart", recorded some time ago and included on Sorry for the Delay, the mini–album collection of demos and early recordings released earlier this year. It finds leader Edward Droste struggling to meet the challenge of the song's strange angles and tricky construction with just an acoustic guitar, mostly by piling on intricately arranged vocal harmony. He slowed the song to half–speed, in part because half–speed is how Grizzly Bear like to do things, and in part because he needed the extra time to get the voices just so. Ten years ago such a cover may have seemed like an ironic appreciation of a corporate rock standard; that Grizzly Bear looked to the pop Yes back then is key, because it suggests that Droste is not afraid to get complicated and that he believes in the potential of widescreen sound.
♠ This faith in something bigger is all over Yellow House, the band's second full–length and debut on Warp. It's not what you might expect from Grizzly Bear after hearing the apartment–recorded Horn of Plenty, the 2004 debut that was essentially a Droste solo record. Grizzly Bear seemed there like any number of post–Microphones indie bands stuck in the realm of lo–fi for lo–fi's sake, ready to let pinched, tinny sound create intimacy when the songs themselves couldn't quite manage. None of this early Grizzly Bear material is bad, but it has a tendency to drift away completely once the music stops, and after the remix companion to Horn of Plenty came out, people seemed to lose interest in the originals.
♠ That's all behind us. Grizzly Bear are a full band now, Droste being joined again by Christopher Bear (on drums, the only holdover from Horn of Plenty), Chris Taylor (on electronics, woodwinds, and bass) and Daniel Rossen (who sings, contributes to songwriting, and plays guitar). They're still recording themselves, but they've grown more ambitious and seem to have acquired some decent gear. The studio this time was a living room in Droste's mother's place near Cape Cod; their own private Big Pink is, indeed, yellow, and they apparently had a lot of time to think about arrangement. ♠ No question this grander sonic space is where they belong. Opening track "Easier" lays it all out: flutes, a descending intro tapped out on a rickety upright, sustain pedal to the metal, a smear of fake strings (Mellotron?), and then the acoustic picking and Droste's voice, clear and full–spectrum for the first time and sounding, finally, like it should.
♠ The following "Lullabye" is the album's calling card, the production this time supporting a meandering tune that skips up the side of a mountain. Grizzly Bear exhibit here a tendency that recurs throughout the record, of showing the seams in their songwriting and dividing the songs into mini–suites through jarring moments that signal a shift in emphasis. A discordant guitar tears "Lullabye" in half, separating the tuneful opening, which sounds like a lost Disney tune written to send a rosy–cheeked imp off to sleep, from the dark tower that looms behind. The second half's swirling harmonies and crashing drums evoke a Bob Ezrin–sized edifice that would leave a four–track recorder in a dozen pieces before the first brick was laid.
♠ Such attention to detail and the larger well of resources improves Grizzly Bear at both ends of their range. The quieter songs sound better laced with effects and with the guitar and voice ringing true, and the climaxes carry greater weight. Another example of the latter is "Plans", which begins with a modest shuffle, picks up a chorus of whistling dwarves and some horns on loan from Tom Waits, and finally piles on some go–go nightclub percussion and laptop dissonance as it begins to buckle under its own weight. The imagination of its arrangement is impressive, as is the perfect 30–degree slope upward to its peak.
♠ That's one end of the spectrum. But then they slip in something like the regal waltz "Marla", which was written by Droste's aunt in the 1930s and carries the sparkling dust of its vintage. Grizzly Bear infuse the song with a palpable atmosphere, the live instruments mixing with indistinct sounds courtesy of Chris Taylor's slippery electronics. He seems to be filling a role here similar to David Sitek in TV on the Radio, folding in odd noises at just the right moment to color the tunes in a very specific way. ♠ So "Marla", with its strings and accordion, suddenly opens up at the two–minute mark, when an echoing memory of a "sweet" big band 78 streams in for just a few seconds. "On a Neck, On a Spit" contains similar tweaks during its crashing instrumental break, with hard–to–peg wails that could be voices or could be strings but jack up the drama regardless.
♠ Beyond production, Grizzly Bear have stepped up their songwriting in every way, assembling melodies that proceed in a logical fashion but never sound overused or overly familiar. Yellow House is a much better record than we could rightfully have expected from these guys, better, even, than we could have imagined them making. ♠ And I find myself wondering how much further they might go, whether another layer of sheen and more production possibilities would push them to even greater heights. There are still moments here where the sound isn't quite all it could be. More money, a better studio, and who knows what might happen. And hey — what's Trevor Horn going for these days? Ah, a question for another day. For now, we have Yellow House, one of the year's best records. ♠ http://pitchfork.com/AllMusic Review by Heather Phares; Score: ♠♠♠♠½
♠ On their second album (and Warp debut), Yellow House, Grizzly Bear takes a dramatic leap forward, delivering a collection of songs that sound awe–inspiringly huge and intimate at the same time. While the album is overall more polished and focused than their debut, nowhere is this (literally) clearer than in Yellow House's production. Though the artful lo–fi approach Grizzly Bear used on Horn of Plenty — which sounded like it was recorded on tapes that had been moldering away in musty cupboards, or gradually dissolving underwater — was extremely evocative in its own way, Yellow House's warmth, clarity, and symphonic depth gives Grizzly Bear's widescreen psychedelic folk–rock a timelessness that makes it seem even more dreamlike and unique. The album's structure and songwriting are much more focused, too, even though many of the tracks hover around five to six minutes long. Instead of presenting their experiments as fragments and snippets, as they did on Horn of Plenty, on Yellow House Grizzly Bear incorporates their ideas into pieces with natural, suite–like movements. "Central and Remote" moves seamlessly from fragile marimba melodies to acoustic guitar–driven verses and towering choruses. The best moments not only have a natural sound, but conjure up nature imagery as well: "Easier" opens the album with a gently exciting buildup of woodwinds, banjo, and acoustic guitar that could soundtrack the dawn of a late summer morning, while "Colorado" closes Yellow House with wide expanses of vocal harmonies and mountainous tympani. In between, there's more majestic beauty to be found, particularly on the gorgeously hazy love song "Knife," which combines lush Beach Boys harmonies with a little bit of the Velvet Underground's chugging cool. Elsewhere, "Plans" feels like a more brooding take on the High Llamas' intricate, symphonic/electronic pop, while "On a Neck, on a Spit" recalls Jim O'Rourke's freewheeling deconstruction of folk–rock and soft rock. However, these similarities feel more like allegiances than tracing over the work of these artists — Yellow House is a beautiful album in its own right, and required listening not just for fans of Horn of Plenty, but for anyone who enjoys ambitious, creative music with an emotional undercurrent. ♠ http://www.allmusic.com/ ♠
By Grayson Currin, October 9, 2006
Cian Traynor, September 18th, 2012 07:14
♠ Cian Traynor talks to Daniel Rossen about the present and the future of Grizzly Bear
|Grizzly Bear — Yellow House (September 5, 2006)