Review Summary: Grizzly Bear provides an impressive second full length album with "Yellow House" with a sound that is unique in its own regard.
There is an appreciation I can find in home recordings. For one, they usually sound more natural. Another great thing about home recordings, are that there is usually more done with less. I mean that with the simplest of instruments, a complex sound can erupt. Three bands/songwriters that are almost notorious for home recordings are Do Make Say Think
(recorded albums in a barn), The Mountain Goats
(old recordings were done through boom box recording), and Onelinedrawing
(front man Jonah Matranga would often record as he visited other people in their houses). Another band has come out of hiding with one of the best albums I have heard in the past year, and that would be the band Grizzly Bear
(who recorded their album in two different family member’s houses). Along with the house setting, Grizzly Bear set a mood or a feeling perhaps, for their latest release Yellow House.
Some songs feel inviting, wanting you to experience the elegance. Other songs are captivating, by astounding you. Another portion of songs is compassionate, touching your soul with an ominous touch. Overall, though, this album felt cozy. A cozy feeling that was accompanied by darkness or happiness as it flourished throughout.
is primarily acoustically driven with finger picked riffs for a good deal of the record. While there are some electric guitar parts present, it never becomes too overbearing. The song “Knife” provides a clear example with a sweet and subtle guitar driven by a simple drumbeat. During the song, beautiful hymning is layer on top of one another as a backbone for the song. In addition, the main voice is just as mesmerizing with not so cheerful lyrics saying, can you feel the knife,
as the song breaks off into a bridge that leads to a piano lead ending. “Central and Remote” has a bold and triumphant beginning after a quiet guitar and vocal section to initiate the song. The bass and vocals continue to shine towards the end into a glistening fantasy as it ends.
Similar vocal collaborations are involved with the first track on the album, “Easier,” and maintained for a great portion of the album. Another standout track is the delectable charm “Lullabye.” With a nonchalant introduction, soon harsh guitar strums transition the song into an ascending vocal and guitar portion while singing chin up, cheer up
repeatedly through that. The drum work takes over from there as the song progresses into organized, yet quiet chaos. Soon after, the same ascending portion begins once again and then the song breaks down to its ultimate finish.
The next breakthrough track comes in the song title “On a Neck, On a Spit.” It is a brighter song that starts with intricate guitar riffs. There are a few breaks where everything becomes silent. The song then completely changes into a different direction. After the second break, the song’s tempo picks up and becomes almost like a folk-pop movement. The song begins to build up more as it dazzles musically with a delicate intensity. The album ends on a dark note with “Colorado.” The piano coasts the song along with a creepy aura that is acceptable. The song picks up down the stretch as the moaning vocals seep through with the repetitive chant Colorado
infiltrating much of the song. It is a perfect song to end this record. It is just as relaxing and cozy as the other tracks but it adds that gloomy mood that makes it fantastic.
The album as a whole is one complex, yet simple and effective work. It may seem repetitive or boring, but if you take time to travel through from start to finish, it is that perfect “mood” album. The different hymnal tones throughout are almost like another instrument. The vocal background effects make it possible to have a solid foundation during this record. I like the coziness of the album when I need something to relax myself. As I stated before, Yellow House
is one of the top indie albums I have listened to in the past year and if there is a comfort zone needed, you can find it in this album. The home recording of Yellow House
is impressive, and after all, there is no place like home. It is time to feel at home once again.
Central and Remote
On a Neck, On a Split