Who: A Brooklyn chamber-pop quartet who hunkered down in a worn-down church to record their gorgeous third album Veckatimest. After a surprise hit in 2006’s “Knife” and a stint as Radiohead’s opening band in 2008, Grizzly Bear’s growing popularity was confirmed this week when Veckatimest debuted at Number Eight on the sales chart.
Sounds Like: Led by singer Ed Droste and singer-guitarist Daniel Rossen, who both share co-writing duties, Veckatimest is a lush mix of Beach Boys melodies, complex arrangements, ornate art rock and swooning pop hooks. “We learned how to edit ourselves on this album,” Droste says. “But I still hope that on the 20th or 30th listen you’ll discover something new.
• The band started as a bedroom project for Droste, who recorded the band’s Horn of Plenty> in 2004 mainly as a solo album before recruiting his three college friends Chris Taylor, Chris Bear and Rossen. As a quartet, the band achieved critical acclaim for their 2006 album Yellow House, which featured the standout and oft-covered hit “Knife.”
• “It’s hard for me to listen to this,” Taylor says of Yellow House. “On that record, we were in a transitional period — like puberty.” Still, on the strength of Yellow House, the band attracted famous fans like Paul Simon and Radiohead, who asked Grizzly Bear to open for them on tour last summer. “When I heard, I did a little jig,” Droste said of being handpicked by the In Rainbows band. “I was surprised how friendly they were. They actually hung out with us.”
• Like their music, Grizzly Bear aren’t typical. Their tour bus is a party-free “quiet zone” and Droste spends his free time relaxing and cooking at home. “I’ve become more domestic recently,” he tell RS. Rossen spends his free time on side project Department of Eagles, who released In Ear Park last year.