Central and Remote
On a Neck, On a Spit
Grizzly Bear’s 2006 release, Yellow House, is a stunning pop production. The lush, melancholy sound of classic Beach Boys and Beatles comes to mind, but the album’s micromanaged sound is very 21st century. As lovely as the melodies and harmonies are, there is something diffused about the music: the overall ambience is as important as the individual songs. “Easier” counts far-off piano, a shuffling groove, banjo plinks, glockenspiel, and electronics among the elements that make up its palette. “Knife” intriguingly bends and updates the vibe of one of those great early ‘60s singles that Phil Spector produced. “On a Neck, On a Spit” features group vocals over folky acoustic guitar, and at one point the track seems to explode in a fit of electric grandeur. Yellow House has plenty of highlights but the group might have saved the best for last: the closer, “Colorado,” is a stunning tour-de-force that possesses the majesty of the Rocky Mountain state. With the drummer thrashing away and the vocals soaring, the track creates a sense of awe not unlike flying over that sublime place.