Grizzly Bear

Horn of Plenty

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Grizzly Bear's debut offers up a lysergic brand of minimalist psychedelic folk perfect for those who find Elliott Smith's early work a bit too accessible and upbeat. Largely the home recording project of singer/songwriter Ed Droste, Horn of Plenty was eventually augmented by multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bear. To these ends, the album features a mostly melancholy mix of acoustic guitars, reeds, retro organs, and samples, all drenched in enough acid-washed effects to give Devendra Banhart flashbacks. Droste's weary, somnambulistic vocals work well with the slackadaisical melodies to create an unsettling atmospheric sound full of shimmering shadows. Songs like the opening "Deep Sea Diver" and the mesmerizing "Shift" crawl along at an almost funereal pace, the latter featuring what sounds like a scratchy Gramophone recording of a piano augmented only by echoing whistles, clapping, trippy found sounds, and weirdly hypnotic multi-tracked vocals. As a whole, the album produces a murky sound that unfolds like a narcotic dream you can't quite shake upon waking. This is the kind of album you'll want to listen to late at night, perhaps a few sheets to the wind, with the lights off and headphones on to allow these creepy, quiet little tunes to worm their way into your subconscious.

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