ALBUM REVIEW// Grizzly Bear – Shields

One of the most anticipated albums of the year and possibly the album I have been itching for the most is finally in my possession: “Shields”

I adore Grizzly Bear, CANT and Department of Eagles it seems anything any member of this group dabbles in is masterful and ‘Shields’ is no exception…

We all knew following up “Veckatimest” would be an incredible feat. However, there is something about ‘Shields’ which has allowed them to complete this task seemingly with ease. I will now attempt to take you on that journey, the journey which is their incredible return:

The opening track [above] ‘Sleeping Ute’ is reminiscent of the past GB albums whilst adding a new ‘modern’ ambience, unique to ‘Shields’. With hints of CANT and a very ‘In Ear Park’’ kind of outbreak towards the end Sleeping Ute is the evolutionary scale of Grizzly Bear. With this modern growth to Grizzly Bear comes tracks such as “Speak In Rounds” or “Gun-Shy” which carry concepts of the “Age of Indie” and “Folk Revival Period”, in which we are trapped, to a new individual level and definition. Much like “Veckatimest”, ‘Shields’ is an album that stands out from those of other bands to which they are often compared e.g Fleet Foxes and seems to be birthed from personal inspiration.

“The Hunt” is very Radiohead-esque with it’s wailing guitar and deep piano and does [controversially] bring another band name into mind: Coldplay. When I first read a comment on YouTube under the video to “Yet Again” comparing the two I felt sick putting them in the same league as have many others:

//people who compare Grizzly with Coldplay: Coldplay is snobish one-layer pop with vague lyrics. Grizzly is multi-layered, multi-influenced and well crafted music with extremely good lyrics and nothing like coldplay. – David Pint

//are you fucking kidding me right now?? get the fuck out of here with your stupid child like comments.- Helki Dovah

However, when listing to early Coldplay I found through songs like Shiver, 42, Don’t Panic that Shields has got a hint of that beauty and feeling. Obviously to a much more mature and powerful level but a level nonetheless. ‘Shields’ is teeming with influence of music in out era, it is modern and takes elements of  influential songs, be it “Knives Out” or “Yellow” Grizzly Bear are reinventing our era by using elements of it.

Unfortunately I cannot find a link to my favourite track “Sun In Your Eyes”, the closing track, so here is the controversial Coldplay sounding “Yet Again”

Shields is an album of evolution and it could well be Grizzly Bear’s most significant album yet.


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