Grizzly Bear Yellow House

Grizzly Bear Yellow House
What sounds for all the world like a meeting in the English countryside between all the pop/folk-y elements of Wings, Genesis and Jethro Tull is actually Edward Droste recording in his mom’s Cape Cod living room. This time he brought friends along (2004’s Horn of Plenty was largely solo), expanding to a four piece Bear. The results are 12 kinds of splendid, keeping the whispery confessional tone in place yet throwing open the curtains to a bright and multi-hued soundscape. "Lullabye” is a track that starts as a gentle acoustic waltz before turning a corner smack into a wall of distorted guitar, with a repeated chorus of "Cheer up! Chin up!” to shake us by the shoulders. The whole album has a ’70s/proggish tendency towards taking little side trips in sound to hear what leads to where… usually something unexpected and magical. "Little Brother” swirls through simple banjo "folkiness” to a rousing stomp-and-clap-along to slaphappy electronic psychedelia without pausing for water. It’s an ambitious and extravagant affair, in the Pet Sounds/Sgt. Pepper way, yet remarkably… not gaudy. Droste’s hushed and humble singing tends to give the album a more miniature feel even when, as on "Marla,” the music sounds like a troupe of ghosts waltzing their instruments through a collapsing mansion. This is one yellow house with enough cupboards and tchotchkas to amuse any curious sorts. (Warp)