Five years is considered an eternity between records within the contemporary climate of the music world. However, where three years of agonised, vice-grip creation and destruction preceded Grizzly Bear’s 2012’s multi-dimensional effort ‘Shields’, the five years of space following has worked in their favour — leading to the conception of a creature that breathes confidently with a heavy sense of hyper-ambition in ‘Painted Ruins’. As admitted on the fatalist drive of nocturnal cut ‘Mourning Sound’: “I made a mistake; I never should have tried.”
Sinister shades of raw complexity tour the Brooklynites’ fifth effort, from the slow crawl of ‘Wasted Acres’ to the glassy elegance of ‘Three Rings’, but ‘Painted Ruins’ holds an explorative nature — testing for gold before gifting itself to dust in the wake of self-excavation. ‘Four Cypresses’ sees multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen ponder on the way chaos works in his favour against a soundtrack of snaking rhythm and ghosting harpsichord, and within such honesty, you can’t help but feel he’s speaking to the labyrinthine glow at ‘Painted Ruins’ core.
Words: James Musker
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