Daniel Rosen’s distinctive guitar work and satisfyingly complex songs structures have always given Grizzly Bear’s subtly crafted music an holistic quality. Creating a metaphysical space in which the listener can explore the connection between all things; be they man made, natural, spiritual or imaginary. A sensation not unlike staring into the depths a clear lake. Where your eye’s can see all the way to the riverbed, able to focus on the individual depths of detail, without losing the sense of the whole. So when Grizzly Bears newest track, ‘Sleeping Ute,’ threatened to disturb this delicate ecosystem with an ambitiously loud and vibrant new direction, a feeling of great unease swept over me.
The track opens in a bombast of Rosen’s guitars, which expand and contract over dense percussion in beguiling fashion. The sound is bold but never overreaches, confidently replacing the vocal harmonies of classics like, ‘While You Wait For the Others’ or ‘Central and Remote,’ with all manner of layered instruments to elevate the soundscape. Whilst the change is initially jarring and will catch fans off guard, it’s worth sticking with. As after repeated listens the beautiful mannerisms and charm of Grizzly Bears music reveal themselves to be unharmed and even more pronounced. Evolving to exciting new highs for a band who were already very easy to admire.
Listen to Sleeping Ute below: