Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band, comprising Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ed Droste (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, various instruments, producer) and Christopher Bear (drums, backing vocals). The band employs traditional and electronic instruments. Their sound is often categorized as psychedelic pop, folk rock, and experimental, and is most dominated by the use of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies. The band is one of the few non-electronic artists signed to Warp Records.
Daniel Rossen is also a member of the duo Department of Eagles.
Grizzly Bear's 2004 debut album, Horn of Plenty, features myriad sounds and layering of voices. It was largely the solo effort of Droste and predates the formation of the band, which has been dubbed anti-folk, freak folk, lo-fi, or just indie rock. Rolling Stone magazine wrote of the first album that "The pure atmospheric power of the songs is more than enough to hypnotize." In 2005, the band re-released the album with an additional disc of remixes by Solex_(musician), The Double, Castanets, Final Fantasy, Soft Pink Truth, Dntel and others.
Their first record as a quartet and to feature material written by Rossen, Yellow House, was released on Warp Records in September 2006. It was named for Droste's mother's house where it was recorded and ranked as one of the top albums of 2006 by the New York Times and Pitchfork Media. In 2007, Rossen recorded a cover of JoJo's single "Too Little Too Late" for Droste's twenty-ninth birthday. In 2006 the band did a Take-Away Show session with Vincent Moon.
Also in 2007, the band released Friend, an EP which features outtakes, alternate versions of songs, and covers of Grizzly Bear material done by Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), Band of Horses, and Atlas Sound. In addition, members of the Dirty Projectors and Beirut collaborated with the band on "Alligator" and the EP's hidden track.
On March 1, 2008, Grizzly Bear performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
In summer 2008, Grizzly Bear opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour. In Toronto, on their last date of the tour together, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood spoke of his love for Grizzly Bear, on stage, calling them his favorite band. Of the experience, Taylor has commented: “It was shocking, and kind of unbelievable. It still is unbelievable. Opening for Radiohead was a huge honour for us, as a band and as individuals. We’ve all had long-term relationships with Radiohead’s music, so we didn’t want to take that opportunity for granted, and do anything less than the best we could." Christopher has also commented that it "was like a dream."
Bear has said that compared to Yellow House, the band's 2009 release Veckatimest is more of an accessible pop record. He said: "I think that it’s kinda clearer, clearer equals more accessible I feel like clearer equals more accessible in general as a rule."
- Friend (2007)
- "On a Neck, On a Spit" (August 21, 2006)
- "Knife" (May 21, 2007)
- "Live On KCRW" (April 18, 2009)
- "Two Weeks" (May 12, 2009)
- "While You Wait for the Others" (August 31, 2009)
The unreleased song "Blackcurrant Jam" appeared on Worried Noodles, a compilation by David Shrigley released by TOMLAB on October 23, 2007. The song "Don't Ask" from Horn of Plenty appeared on a 7" in Tomlab Records' Alphabet Series.
Collaboration, tours, and notable appearances
In November 2007, the band released their EP Friend on Warp Records. The EP features collaborations with the Dirty Projectors and Beirut, as well as covers of Grizzly Bear songs by Cansei de Ser Sexy, Atlas Sound and Band of Horses.
Grizzly Bear has toured with TV on the Radio (U.S., October 2006) and Feist (U.S., June 2007). In April 2008 Paul Simon asked Grizzly Bear to play with him for five nights during his month long residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, showcasing songs from his career. The band opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour of summer 2008.
Some notable concerts and music festivals in which Grizzly Bear has performed include the Coachella Music Festival (Indio, California, April 29, 2007); the Sasquatch Music Festival (George, Washington, May 26, 2007); the Roskilde Festival (Roskilde, Denmark, July 7, 2007); and the Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, July 14, 2007). On November 3, 2007 the band played as a part of the Wordless Music Series at the New York Society for Ethical Culture center. The show was later ranked by Stereogum.com as their Favorite Live Show of 2007. On March 1, 2008 Grizzly Bear played at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The first half of the show featured the orchestra playing selections hand-picked by Grizzly Bear while Grizzly Bear followed with a full set of their own songs. They also played at the 2008 Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois and the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival, along with appearing at the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival.
In 2009, they played at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 28 with Owen Pallett, backed by an orchestra arranged by Nico Muhly and conducted by Michael Christie. They played new songs from Veckatimest as well as songs from Yellow House. Ed Droste has stated that many songs (such as "Central and Remote", "Reprise" and "Campfire") will not be played again unless backed by an orchestra. In March 2009, they played two showcases at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas at the Central Presbyterian Church (Austin, Texas) and the Cedar Street Courtyard. In July 2009, they played at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois.
The band is scheduled to play at The Falls Festival in Australia's Marion Bay and Lorne locations, over the course of the four day festival from December 29 - January 1 2010.
- April 22, 2007 – Grizzly Bear performed on Last Call with Carson Daly.
- May 2007 – Characters on Gilmore Girls mentioned Grizzly Bear on a season finale episode.
- October 2007 – The song "On a Neck, On a Spit" was featured on an episode of Reaper.
- February 2008 – Grizzly Bear's song "Knife" was featured in the season premiere of the UK programme Skins.
- March 6, 2008 – Grizzly Bear performed on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
- April 21, 2008 – Grizzly Bear performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
- July 23, 2008 - Grizzly Bear performed on Late Show with David Letterman.
- May 5, 2009 - Grizzly Bear performed on Later... with Jools Holland.
- June 26, 2009 - Grizzly Bear performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
- July 16, 2009 - Grizzly Bear performed on Late Show with David Letterman.
Biography from Wikipedia