Daniel Rossen

Silent Hour/Golden Mile

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Though Daniel Rossen's wavering voice and winding melodies are hallmarks of his work with Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles, Silent Hour/Golden Mile bears his own name for a reason. At one point these songs were intended for a follow-up to Grizzly Bear's masterful Veckatimest, but Rossen ended up recording them largely by himself in a style that's tasteful but not showy -- and that's a good thing. In both of his other projects, he's surrounded by collaborators who are so musicianly that his songs sometimes threaten to get lost in their elaborate surroundings. Here, however, the forward motion of his words and melodies is unimpeded, giving Silent Hour/Golden Mile a unique urgency and immediacy. Despite the voluptuous bassline on the pretty prelude "Up on High," Rossen sings about "grinding your teeth," and even on more expansive songs such as "Return to Form," which swells with brass and strings, the results still aren't as lavish as they would have been with Grizzly Bear or Department of Eagles. Not surprisingly, the EP's most focused songs are its standouts. "Silent Song" is Rossen at his poppiest, its tumbling melody and sweeping harmonies sweetened with limpid electric guitar solos straight out of the early '70s, while "Golden Mile" digs deeper into psychedelic singer/songwriter territory with its bustling verses and yearning choruses. There's no mistaking the more personal vibe here, and on the whole Silent Hour/Golden Mile offers proof that Rossen's songs can stand proudly on their own.

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