Review: Grizzly Bear End Hibernation and Engage the Pop Moment

Our take on 'Painted Ruins,' the latest from the Brooklyn art-rockers

Grizzly Bear's fifth album is 'Painted Ruins.' Credit: Tom Hines

A Steely Dan for Generation Xanax, Grizzly Bear have been hibernating since 2012's intricately magnificent Shields, and their latest greets a new world, pop and otherwise. The sound is still ornate – on "Glass Hillside," nylon-string embroidery melts into gilded choirs, with oddball melodies recalling Brit proggers Soft Machine. Elsewhere, simple cybernetic beats and synths dominate. The band engages the moment coyly. With Chris Taylor conjuring a bedsheet pyre in his most sumptuous choir boy-loverman voice, the avant-soul plaint "Systole" might fit nicely into a Solange or FKA Twigs set list.