- Make nice: Grizzly Bear
If someone sang "Chin up! Cheer up!" to you in a song called "Lullaby," you'd probably anticipate hearing lots of major chords, simple strumming, maybe a harmonica. But that's the last thing you should expect from Brooklyn's latest impossible-to-label band (don't you dare say indie rock), Grizzly Bear.
Like a lot of Grizzly Bear's music, "Lullaby" sounds somehow peaceful, brooding and unstable at the same time. Minor arpeggio runs and chromatic vocal lines trickle in and out between a minimal vocal melody, creating an almost passive-aggressive musical atmosphere. If Raffi had a teen-angst, pre-"Baby Beluga" period, it might sound a bit like this.
Led by songwriters Daniel Rossen and Ed Droste, Grizzly Bear has actually been around since 2004, when the group released Horn of Plenty on Kanine Records. But it was 2006's Yellow House, on Warp Records, that received widespread critical acclaim. The album was recorded at the home of Droste's mom, near Cape Cod, and definitely has a homey feel: The grooves are looser and lighter than on most rock records, the guitar runs are slow and airy. As in a good Miles Davis tune, the spaces between licks and phrases are often more compelling than the riffs themselves. The band's latest EP, Friend, will be released in the U.S. in early November, and features a few new tunes, alternate versions of older numbers, and some Grizzly Bear songs reworked by groups such as CSS and Band of Horses.
You probably won't fall in love on the first listen, but there's creative patience in Grizzly Bear's music that keeps you coming back for more.
Grizzly Bear with Beach House. 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 12. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. All ages. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org.