Grizzly Bear | “Gun Shy”




Grizzly BearFROM Last year, IBM released a report about the way marketing officials at major corporations are using the Internet. Though the gist of the study concluded that these high-paid administrators weren’t using it very well, the October release actually hinged on a much more intriguing and intimidating fact: “Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data—so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.”

We simply can’t keep up. Whether it’s the deluge of MP3s that flood the Internet daily, the information that companies collect about the purchases we make, or the photos of family pets and weekend meals our friends load onto social networks, the worldwide swell of data is best managed by supercomputers and servers, not the people who, in essence, manufacture and depend upon it. It’s hard to resist the temptation of this ever-accelerating cycle—to create and release quickly, so that the world’s bytes don’t leave you behind.

But Shields, the fourth and most fluid album by Grizzly Bear to date, slyly defies that trend. True, the quartet of Chris Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor have never made a quick follow-up; it took them three years to get from Horn of Plenty to Yellow House, three more to get from Yellow House to Veckatimest. Between those records, though, they’d not only toured but issued singles and splits, EPs and remixes. After long spans of shows for Veckatimest, however, Grizzly Bear went silent, or, to be more exact, its members lived their own lives. Trips were taken, and friendships were restored; families were visited, and solo projects were finished. The potential energy gathered in tour vans and busses, in studios and on stages for years was finally released, giving the individual band’s pieces the chance to recover and, after a year, return to being Grizzly Bear…



Matt Levin