Shields: Expanded / Shields B-Sides
Shields, Grizzly Bear's fourth and celebrated new album to date, was highlighted by its pure clarity, both through Chris Taylor's crisp production, and chief songwriters Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen's meticulous melodies. Released digitally and as a stand-alone vinyl LP (titled Shields B-Sides) and as the bonus tracks to Warp Records' Shields: Expanded double-CD, this eight-song set provides a bit of insight into the evolution of Grizzly Bear's ever-ripening sound. Pulling together studio outtakes, remixes and pre-Shields demos, the songs that make up Expanded / B-Sides undoubtedly sound like they belong on a Grizzly Bear outtake reel. But that isn't to say the collection isn't worth owning, as "Listen and Wait" finds the band riding a Tom Waits-ian capsized rhythm, while "Will Calls (Marfa Demo)" flirts with a quiet/LOUD/quiet/LOUD structure that would have sounded (beautifully) out of place on Shields. Closing out with a trio of personality-rich remixes from Nicolas Jaar, Liars and Lindstrøm, Expanded / B-Sides is nonetheless a fascinating document with insight into what may very well be the zenith of Grizzly Bear's career.
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