Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Of all the surprises in 2009, few could match seeing Grizzly Bear’s third album nestling at no. 8 on the US album charts. For all Veckatimest’s splendour, it’s hardly an easy listen, what with the undulating time signatures, off-kilter melodies and complex string arrangements (courtesy of classical protégé Nico Mulhy). Yet, there’s something warm and inviting about the chamber music the band create, be it with the simple piano riff on ‘Two Weeks’ or the sumptuous harmonies that swirl around nearly every track. Somewhere in the mix, however, there’s a sense of unease, as if the ground beneath your feet isn’t as solid as you thought. Somehow, the band has conspired to make the most beautiful and delicate soundtrack to impending doom.

Key track: ‘Two Weeks’