Yet the reach of indie bands over the shoulders of pop stars was good for music for a number of reasons, even if it crowded out consideration for the artists that initially lit the torch. The indie bands that survived the blog-rock era to become vaulted institutional mainstays have held onto their cultural cachet by diversifying their assets.
Ezra Koenig got in on creating memeable content for Netflix. The National and Bon Iver now seem to curate festivals as often as they perform at them. As an independent website, we rely on our measly advertising income to keep the lights on. Our ads are not too obtrusive, promise. Would you please disable adblock? Veckatimest Turns Pranav Trewn Contributor PTrewn. Email Address. Beyond irking folks predisposed to slagging off intricate and, yeah, "sophisticated" music like this-- you stay punk, I'mma stay fascinated-- this trip down yonder to the minor key will doubtless be the big complaint about Veckatimest.
But really, couldn't we say the same about Yellow House? I mean, there's some jam in between "Knife" and "On a Neck, On a Spit", but there's an awful lot of wide-open spaces and deliberate left turns in there, too. Yellow House was not a record defined so much by its two or three big numbers as it was by the slightly haunting impression it left when you played it front to back; it sounded deconstructed, whereas Veckatimest feels built brick-by-brick. As I mentioned, Veckatimest handily beats Yellow House in the bangers department, and while you're not gonna hear "Two Weeks" on any radio station that isn't already playing Ted Leo, there is something prim and proper about the record.
Yet the pop moments on Veckatimest feel even bigger after the slight deviation at its core; surrounded by a few sour notes and sidesteps, "Cheerleader" and "Ready, Able" becomes that much stronger, and even the less effective numbers "Hold Still", "Fine for Now" seem only to cower a smidge as a result of the staggering heights they're placed next to. Out of context, they're every bit as good as the more sinewy stuff that wove Yellow House together.
I walked into Grizzly Bear's much-lauded set at the church down at SXSW this year a skeptic and came out a convert; I knew what a powerful live band they could be, having seen 'em twice before, but my fear about flatlining and my initial and incorrect impressions based on the Veckatimest leak had me convinced I'd get my "Knife" and my "Two Weeks" and then perhaps a very welcome nap.
What I got instead was as great a testament to band democracy as I've seen onstage; these new tunes require a terrific amount of concentration and skill to pull off in that setting, and any band whose sprightliest number "On a Neck", still sounds like half a ragtime had to work awfully hard to win me over after I'd spent the prior eight hours replacing beer-sweat with more beer. Yeah, Veckatimest sounds worked-over, but in the best of ways; carefully embellished, stripped bare when applicable, full of the joy of sounds colliding with other sounds.
Grizzly Bear was once Ed Droste's band, but no longer; it's a family affair, and only four guys so completely serious about music-making could come together to make an album this labor-intensive sound so airy, so natural. I get it; Grizzly Bear can come across to some as boring. Lord knows I could go my whole life never reading another Ed Droste Tweet about pho or seeing Chris Taylor use a neti pot. But this little microcosm of imperfection indie rock's been working through lately could use a foil like Veckatimest , a record that, in searching for perfection through meticulousness, feels beautifully flawed and gloriously off-kilter without either side serving as the entire narrative.
Nico Muhly collaborated with Grizzly Bear on this album. A deluxe edition of the album was released on November 2, , in Europe. Along with the twelve original tracks, it contained an exclusive 24 page booklet and a bonus disc of Veckatimest tracks recorded in various locations. Although the release was exclusive to Europe, the bonus tracks were released digitally to the US in the iTunes Store. An unmastered version of the album was leaked before its release. Regarding this, Ed Droste states: .
We knew it was gonna leak and we were prepared for that, but really, the biggest bummer for us was that we spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort into making sure that it's a really rich recording — recording it to tape and doing all these nice sonic details — and then it leaked and I remember listening to it and it sounded like an underwater YouTube stream or something.
It was really, really bad. And so it's just a bummer to think of everyone's first impressions of this album being this horribly compressed, terrible-quality version of the album. But that said, the excitement behind it and everyone's reaction was really encouraging and exciting for us to see. I think people find their own way of showing support, whether it be through an album sale or coming to a concert or even just telling some friends about it.
Obviously, the leak didn't hurt us because we debuted in the Top You've gotta be sort of Zen about it. The abstract drawing was created by William O'Brien and chosen by Droste, whom he has known since high school.
After contacting O'Brien requesting to use one of his pieces for the new album, Droste received a number of examples to choose from. Initially O'Brien was surprised Droste had chosen that specific piece for the artwork as he felt it had an "awkward placement" to it, but after hearing the album he reconsidered the piece, "it was like this amazing, beautiful thing that happened". Although unclarified, it is most likely that the other artwork for the singles and bonus disc was taken from the same abstract series that spawned the Veckatimest piece as they all have a similar nature.
The album's title is a reference to Veckatimest Island , a small island in Dukes County, Massachusetts and a member of the Elizabeth Islands , a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod , Massachusetts. Naushon Island , another member of the Elizabeth Islands, is owned by the Forbes family and Grizzly Bear's founding member, Ed Droste , is connected to the Forbes family through his mother Diana Forbes. In an interview with Pitchfork , Droste explained the title: .
We were doing some recording in Cape Cod, and we were looking at some typography. We were invited to that area once, and we thought it was really beautiful. And we liked the name. We didn't camp there or anything, but we spent a lot of time there because of my grandmother's house there. So we had a chance to really explore the region, and it was an area that we thought was really pretty because it was so natural and untouched. We really enjoyed it. Many of the album's tracks appear in actor Philip Seymour Hoffman 's directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating , acting as the film's primary score.
Hoffman noted, "Susan Jacobs the music supervisor threw Grizzly Bear my way. She was like, "You should really listen to them!