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.