Three years after Grizzly Bear released Shields, the band is set to begin work on their fifth studio album, with singer Ed Droste promising the group's next LP will be "more adventurous" than its predecessor. In a new interview with The Standard, Droste discussed the band's upcoming album, why he's "stressed" about recording and whether his recent divorce will inspire the Shields follow-up.
"We're feeling more adventurous with the sonic directions, changing it up a little bit – not like, a techno dance album… It's in the beginning stages," Droste said of the new album's potential sound. "Only a couple songs have started to take shape and it's gotta be like, a good dozen or so before we get the picture."
Unlike the recording process for Shields, where Grizzly Bear ensconced themselves at studios in Marfa, Texas and Cape Cod, Massachusetts to construct a truly collaborative album, Droste says the creative process now will be "more fractured." While two members still live in New York, the other half, including Droste, have traded coasts and now reside in Los Angeles.
Speaking about when and how the band will come together to record the follow-up, Droste said, "That's a huge question mark. I would be lying if I said it didn't cause great anxiety. When I'm stressed about it, I have to remember that every time we try to do a new album, I have huge anxiety. Every time, it's like, 'Woah, that was a crazy process, we have to do something different.'"
Droste has also spent the past year "trying to separate two lives" following the divorce from his husband. "I don't want to have this be a narrative for next album, so I'm saying here briefly that I'm amicably and lovingly divorcing my husband," Droste tweeted last August.
The singer reiterated that Grizzly Bear's new work won't be overly informed lyrically by the divorce. "Anyone who has gone through it can tell you. It's intense as fuck," Droste said. "I thought maybe it would be fodder for songwriting, but it ends up consuming everything. It was so gruelingly intense. Every logistical thing comes with so much emotional baggage."