As we near the end of Grizzly Bear week we asked the band to take part in our regular DiSection feature. The idea is a little like a director's commentary you get on a DVD, where we ask a band to dissect their new album, track by track.
1) 'Southern Point'
Daniel Rossen: I remember that even before we started recording this song we talked about how it seemed like a great opening track. It had a positive spirit to it that reminded me of the end of 'On A Neck, On A Spit'. Both those songs involved some time wandering around near the beach up at the Cape, strumming the guitar line over and over in order to find a melody.
Edward Droste: Actually the last song to be recorded and written. Started on the cape and finished up in the church and went through various different permutations.
2) 'Two Weeks'
E: Began with GUMBO and a radio single of which I shall not speak! [Chris] Bear and I having fun on a weekend trip together yielded this, wasn't til we played it full band on tour with Radiohead that the true "energy" and "spirit" behind it came to be
D: When Ed first sent me this demo there was something in the melody that reminded me of Beach House, in a great way. Seemed like a great track for her to sing on. This one of my favourites to play live.
3) 'All We Ask'
E: This is perhaps the most collaborative song on the album. Started as a piano demo, then became full band, then Dan added an intro and chorus, then we turned the final phrasing of "I can't get out of what I'm into with you" on it's head and had it be a bit more uplifting instead of the original sadness that the song carried.
D: Bear had originally done this song on piano with Ed, and it was very sombre and beautiful with a completely different set of darker chords. I, for some reason, decided to flip it around, do it on guitar and make the whole chord progression much happier, removing most of the minor chords. I still really love the original though. I think it will be included as a b-side in some territories.
4) 'Fine for Now'
E: Dan brought this to the table last summer and we had fun road testing it with Radiohead.
D: This song has actually stewed for ages and ages. Originally came about while we were sleeping on someone's floor a few years ago in Toronto. The guy we stayed with had a guitar that was tuned really strangely, I think accidentally, and I sat around one morning on his porch and found parts of the song. I played around with it for ages but it didn't work until I sat down with Ed upstate and he helped flesh out the melody and lyrics and harmonies.
E: Imagine me in a cheerleader outfit, that would be chill.
E: At the moment my favourite track off the album, it was something dan and I came up with together back and forth upstate new york. <3 Dory. Feel like it might be "misunderstood".
P.S. it's not about finding nemo!
7) 'Ready, Able'
This song was transformed by CT's decision to add a throbbing omni chord pulse. Thank lordy for that as it may not have made it on the album without it.
8) 'About Face'
E: This is the "island song". Chris Bear had a riff and we just built off of it. In the beginning this was my favorite track.
9) 'Hold Still'
E: Recorded on Cape Cod, capturing the echo and reverb of the piano strings (we sung into it). To me it serves as a perfect breather, plus I love the guitar tone.
D: Yeah this song really feels like our time up on Cape Cod. Was never meant to be some grand song, it was more like a very soothing mood piece or something. I love that you can hear the fire crackling in the background.
10) 'While You Wait for the Others'
E: The earliest written song on the album and one of the favourites. Dan just came in one day, and presented it to us.
11) 'I Live with You'
E: Can you hear the girl's giggle? It changed the song for me from "scary" to "everything else".
D: Along with 'Fine For Now' this song was transformed and shaped in the end by playing it as loud as humanly possible while we were upstate. I think of it as a really demented love song. skirts the boundary of being totally insane and unbearable, which is somehow a selling point for me. When the song was finished and the choir was on with their laughter and snickering I was kind of scared that we had accidentally channelled Satan.
E: Just a small idea that got kept, personal but cathartic.
D: One of my favourites on the record, and one of my favourite songs of Ed's of all time. When I first heard him do it with just piano it was so gorgeous and we fought to keep it as simple as possible so as not to overcomplicate it, since it was already so nice as it was.
Veckatimest is out now on Warp Records