Released 10 years ago today, Grizzly Bear’s third studio album stands as a stark reminder of what a special time the late ’00s were for indie rock.
Veckatimest cemented the Brooklyn experimental quartet’s reputation at the peak of when such free-thinking independent music was making its popular ascent. Indie insiders gawked at how bizarre it was that mainstream audience were tuning into this esoteric music that oddly blends folk rock and chamber music. Jay-Z openly repped his love of the band.
Most people can identify Grizzly Bear by the album’s lead single, “Two Weeks.” The melancholic anthem has been used (dare I say overused) in numerous movies and shows.
When listening to the album, I see a beautiful sunset muffled by an underwater viewpoint; an incredible entity within sight, but obscured and inaccessible.
The whole album evokes feelings of melancholy. Dissonant and sometimes jarring harmonies are scattered throughout. The emphasis on complex drumbeats and rhythms are also integral to the album’s feeling. Many aspects of Grizzly Bear’s sound should add up to something a hard to follow and off-putting to most listeners, yet Veckatimest manages to draw listeners in with lush textures, memorable melodies and just the right amount of complexity.
The way the band can pack so many chaotic elements and memorable melodies into a digestible form is magical. The fact that this kind of music doubled as popular music for a time is extraordinary.
David is a Bay Area native who’s been playing, writing and listening to music since he was a young child.