In 2008, the Brooklyn formed band Grizzly Bear drew the enviable slot of opening for Radiohead during their North American tour. The four members of the band then headed to Cape Cod to work on their third album that would eventually become Veckatimist. Sung by Daniel Rossen, the album opens with “Southern Point” that contains a jazzy introduction and euphoric percussive chorus. The memorable keyboard opening and “ooohhhs” to “Two Weeks” are unmistakable on a song that also features backing vocals from Victoria Legrand from Beach House and swooning vocals from Ed Droste.
A cool bass strut opens “Cheerleader” where Droste later whispers the vulnerable, “I’m cheerleading myself/I shouldn’t really matter”. The propulsive guitar powers “Ready, Able” that adds keyboard effects at the end and the steady drumming of Christopher Bear who’s work is often a highlight. Bassist and producer Chris Taylor introduces an effective spare tension in “About Face” that uses spaces to let the music breathe.
What’s remarkable about the album is the intricacy of nearly every song’s introduction that create their own little worlds. Where your love of Grizzly Bear may start/stop is on the dramatic singing of both Droste and Rossen that can make songs sound like they are ripped from a theatrical play. With all the pieces together, Veckatimist is a quietly beautiful piece of work that at times can swell from its musical depths and suddenly demand attention before floating away again.