Grizzly Bear are back! It’s been five long years since ‘Shields’ and their newest outing, ‘Painted Runs’ takes the ideologies of that stylistic curveball, and coherently matures it into a pulsing throng of grace and intricacy. From the outset, ‘Wasted Acres’ seems to hark back to the minimalistic woozy sombre-tronica of yesteryear but quickly gives-in to it’s inner lounge-lizard with a throbbing harmonic redux into some sleazy lounge-jazz before smoothly seguing back to the gloom-led minor-key drone.
‘Mourning Sound’ drives along with a little more energy, bolstered by swelling synth pulses and flickering light-ray saw-waves, a sentiment echoed on it’s follow-up ‘Four Cypresses’, with a metronomic flicker gracefully joined by a militant snare march, and an oddly jarring but brilliantly tempered lo-fi string sample. As it grows, there is more cinematic outpourings and theatrical gestures with a grand euphoric progressive lurch and choral echoes crackling in and out of lucidity like waking from a dream.
Latterly, we get gifted some melodic groovers in the form of ‘Losing All Sense’, with rhythmic guitar upsweeps and warm distorted bass slowly decaying into the background, and ‘Cut-Out’ giving the hazy summer vibes before dipping a toe into twangy Americana waters.
Grizzly Bear once again continue to defy convention with deft stylistic progressions and impeccably produced seismic shifts, whilst still retaining the sullen melancholic charm of their alt-folk psychedelic roots.
FORMAT: 180 gram double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve. Includes MP3 Download Code.
01 Wasted Acres
02 Mourning Sound
03 Four Cypresses
04 Three Rings
05 Losing All Sense
08 Glass Hillside
11 Sky Took Hold