Grizzly Bear is an indie-rock band based in Brooklyn featuring an experimental earful of psychedelic pop and folk rock. Originally born as a solo project begun by singer/songwriter Edward Droste on vocals, guitar, omnichord, and keyboard, the band quickly expanded to include: Chris Taylor on producing, bass, backup vocals, and other instruments, Daniel Rossen on vocals, guitar, banjo and keyboards, and Christopher Bear drums, backup vocals, and glockenspiel. Blending traditional and electronic sounds, the quartet was named after the nickname of Droste’s former boyfriend.
With exceptional talent, increasing promise, a large following, and backing by some of music’s greatest performers, Grizzly Bear’s success stands in solidly above the rest. Here’s the proof with the 10 Best Grizzly Bear Songs:
1. While You Wait For The Others
3. On A Neck, On A Spit
4. All We Ask
5. Fix It
6. Two Weeks
8. Sleeping Ute
Droste wrote the material for his first album, Horn of Plenty, from his bedroom during 2003 using his guitar as therapy to get over a bad break up. With production assistance from Christopher Bear, the album went on to be produced by independent record label Kanine. During late 2004, Chris Taylor was selected to join the band as an “arranger” due to his experiences working with Kyp Malone and Dave Sitek from another New York City based band, TV On The Radio. The trio played local live venues and opening for TV On The Radio, yet felt the addition of another guitarist and singer would add great weight to their sound. That’s when Daniel Rossen, former college roommate of Chris Taylor and friend of Christopher Bear, was added to the band. Just one week following the addition of Rossen to the band, the foursome set out for a two month tour. The band quickly gained Rolling Stone Magazine which likened the band’s debut as “pure atmospheric power of the songs is more than enough to hypnotize.” The band re-released the first album to include additional remixes by the Castanets, Solex, Dr. Cuerpo of The Double, The Soft Pink Truth, Final Fantasy, Dntel, and other groups.
During 2006, Grizzly Bear and their debut album gained a great deal of attention as their popularity increased. The band also gain attention from Warp Records when the production company signed the quartet and released the band’s second album, entitled Yellow House, in September 2006. Named after Droste’s mother’s house, and containing work written by Rossen, the New York Times and Pitchfork Media both listed the album as one of the Top Albums of 2006. That same year the band worked with Parisian independent film producer Vincent Moon for a Take-Away Show session. The band gained momentum, opened for the group Feist, and during 2007 released its EP, titled Friend. Featuring outtakes, alternate versions of previous materials, collaborations with the Dirty Projectors and Beirut, and covers by Band of Horses, Atlas Sound, and Cansei de Ser Sexy, the album furthered the band’s momentum and lead to other projects. Additionally, the group also covered the song “Too Little Too Late” by teen sensation JoJo in honor of Droste’s 29th birthday and garnered great praise.
During 2008, the band opened for the latter part of Radiohead’s North American tour. The band likened the experience to “a dream” and secured their place as the favorite band of Radiohead guitarist’s Jonny Greenwood. Following the tour, the band gathered in Cape Cod to record their third album, named Veckatimest, after an uninhabited island off of the Cape. The album’s release during May 2009 gained massive critical acclaim and quickly climbed charts throughout the U.S. Just weeks following its release, the album reached #8 on the Billboard 200 chart, #1 by the Wall Street Journal, #6 with Pitchfork, #6 with the New York Times, and #8 with Time. The band’s success inspired them to contribute to Feist’s song “Service Bell” and “Deep Blue Sea” for the the album Dark Was The Night produced by the Red Hot Organization to raise funds for AIDS awareness. That year the band also played several venues in New York with Paul Simon and with appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Late Late Show Craig Ferguson.
During 2009, the group held several large performances, including a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Owen Pallett, an orchestra arranged by Nico Muhly, and conductor Michael Christie. The band also played two showcase performances at the 2009 South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. In July of 2009, the band appeared at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Just three months later, the band performed for the Austin City Limits Music Festival and contributed to the soundtrack for the Twilight Saga film New Moon featuring the song “Slow Life” with vocals by Victoria Legrand of the band Beach House. The band traveled to Oslo, Norway to perform at the Rockefeller Music Hall, Australia’s Falls Festival, Queensland’s Sunset Sounds Festival, Western Australia’s Southbound Festival, and Queensland’s Splendour in the Grass festival. During 2010 the group played for the Nateva Music and Camping Festival and at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit. One year later, the band returned to the studio to release songs for international commercials and American television shows as well as concentrate on their next album. Droste announced during December that their fourth album would release in 2012. Using tracks not slated for the upcoming album, Rossen released a solo EP titled Silent Hour/Golden Mile during March 2012. Three months later the band confirmed the album would release in September 2012 upon posting their latest song, called “Sleeping Ute” via their band website.