Grizzly Bear – ‘Sleeping Ute’
Fun fact: on this page about tribal legends, the following appears at the top:
In the very old days, the Sleeping Ute Mountain was a Great Warrior God. He came to help fight against the Evil Ones who were causing much trouble.
A little bit further down the page, this materialises:
But the worst thing of all happened. The animals soon began to fight and kill each other and that made Manitou mad, so he created the strongest animal to rule over all the others to see that they lived in peace. This was the grizzly bear, the king of all beasts.
I don’t know if that has any actual bearing on the situation at hand but I thought it was fun.
So Grizzly Bear are back back back with a new album that will be out in September. Said album doesn’t have a name yet because that’s one of those things that would make far too much sense for our Brooklyn friends. The first song to appear from it, though, does have a name: it is called ‘Sleeping Ute’ and it is rather lush.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your viewpoint), ‘Sleeping Ute’ is not quite on the same level of Hipster Meets Popism that the band navigated so deftly on mainstream breakthrough Veckatimest*. It’s not ‘Two Weeks’ and that’s something you’ll just have to deal with, for better or worse. That said it’s hardly a major diversion into abstract noise either, sticking broadly to the same ‘indie-rock + harmonies + wonky instrumentation = PROFIT’ formula that made that album take over the world and certainly the blogosphere. On an initial listen ‘Sleeping Ute’ sounds like it could fit in anywhere on Veckatimest, but repeated listens belie subtle signs of progression/determination to Stick It To Mainstream Song Structure. Not least the utterly mental, head-exploding time signature changes which you most definitely would not get in your bogstandard UK indie rock ‘anthem’.
And it will grow on you. Oh yes it will grow on you like those leaves that grow up the walls. That was probably the prescribed imagery in a Grizzly Bear video somewhere or sounds like it should be so I feel that makes my point more than adequately.
* Look, bitch at me all you want but ‘Two Weeks’ is still possibly the only song of theirs to date that was ever going to get a sync on How I Met Your Mother. So there.