ACL Music Fest Saturday Interviews

Reminiscing on the holy trinity of female singers

ACL Music Fest Saturday Interviews

Grizzly Bear

3pm, Dell stage

"I came across your cover of Björk's 'Possibly Maybe.'"

"Oh yeah, from a while ago."

"Were you a big fan? Did you have your Björk phase?"

"I'm still in my phase, I think. I'm a fan for life. Though the phase really started when Post came out."

"Did you have the Björk/PJ Harvey/Tori Amos trinity?"

"Yeah, I guess technically I did. More PJ than Tori, though. However, the first Liz Phair was actually my favorite album in high school."

My conversation with Grizzly Bear singer/guitarist Ed Droste began as a fun reminiscence of our formative female-singer years, and then it struck me that, 15 years on, Grizzly Bear is probably more than one high school kid's favorite band. Veckatimest, the NYC quartet's follow-up to its critically lathered sophomore LP, 2006's Yellow House, was leaked and then whispered about for months before its actual release.

When the band formed as a trio – Droste, drummer Chris Bear, and bassist Chris Taylor – two years prior to Yellow House, they re-created guitar parts with their voices. When guitarist Daniel Rossen joined a year later, the group continued with that. Thus, the four found their choirboy wavelength, which in turn shaped Gizzly Bear's dreamy pop. For Veckatimest, the group went through a process of isolation and touring with titans like Radiohead.

"It was much more belabored than Yellow House," Droste says. "With a lot of recording breaks and taking breaks from the music."

Taking their time has proven them a better band, and also allowed them to indulge more of their influences. After a stellar June date at the Parish, my theory that Grizzly Bear desperately wanted to be Steely Dan would be confirmed: Michael McDonald, ol' velvet pipes himself, sings lead vocal on a new version of "While You Wait for the Others."

Now if only they could get a Björk collabo going ....

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More Grizzly Bear
Phases & Stages
Grizzly Bear
Shields (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 26, 2012

Phases & Stages
Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest (Record Review)

Audra Schroeder, June 5, 2009

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Grizzly Bear

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