Neverending Mixtape #4
This brings me to Grizzly Bear. Duh. Right? Before you jump to the faulty conclusion that the Grizzlies might just be another cookie-cutter, retro-pop band, take note that they are on Warp Records. Yeah, these guys are lablemates with Squarepusher and Autechre. If I'm making a comparison to the Brian of yore, it's to the LSD-addled, loony toon Brian that made SMiLE. Obviously, that is said with all due respect. On "Knife," the ephemeral spirit of the Beach Boys is evident in the lilting strum of the guitar, the Spectoresque production (horns and all!), and, of course, in the heavenly, reverbed harmonies. The other obvious comparison would be to their Brooklyn neighbors, Animal Collective. The measured, tumbling percussion and manipulated, alien backing vocals can't help but bring to mind Animal Collective's more recent output.
Grizzly Bear's stellar new album, Yellow House, is chock-full of highlights. However, "Knife" is probably the stand-out track; and one of the year's best songs by any measure.
Below, I've attached a YouTube clip of Grizzly Bear performing an impromptu, a capella version of "Knife" on the streets of France.