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Music / Grizzly Bear

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GrizzlyBear is an indie folk-rock-baroque pop band based in Brooklyn, New York, mostly known for their sleepy, dreamlike sound and four-part harmonies. The band consists of Edward Droste (lead vocals, guitar/keyboards), Daniel Rossen (lead vocals, lead guitar, piano), Chris Taylor (backing vocals/bass/saxophone/flute/clarinet/whatever), and Christopher Bear (backing vocals/drums/percussion/keyboards).

The band originally began as a solo project for Ed Droste in 2004 (with additional help from Chris Bear) with Horn of Plenty. A full band was formed shortly after, culminating in the release of Yellow House (2006). Their next work, Veckatimest (2009), was met with wide critical acclaim, topping several best-of-the-year/decade charts. This praise continued with the release of Shields (2012) and Painted Ruins (2017).

GrizzlyBear contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Chris Taylor and Chris Bear are usually referred to as "T" and "Bear" by both their bandmates and fans.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Averted. Chris Bear is rather charming and is often noted to be the most handsome member of the band.
  • Ambiguously Bi: All of them except Ed, who is openly gay.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Ed (6'4) and Dan, respectively.
  • Big Rock Ending: In "Yet Again".
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: Averted with their cover of The Crystals’ "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)".
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of them are prone to this, especially when faced with less-than-bright or annoying interviewers.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: At this point an artist who covers "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" knows what they're getting into.
  • Echoing Acoustics: Primarily on Yellow House and Veckatimest. Justified on Veckatimest, as a substantial portion was recorded in a church.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine - Ed.
    • Choleric - Chris Taylor.
    • Melancholic - Dan,
    • Phlegmatic - Chris Bear.
  • Genre-Busting: It’s hard to describe their sound in simple terms.
  • Harmony: One of their signature elements.
  • I Am the Band: Played with. Started as Ed's solo home recording project. He hired Chris Bear to add drums to Horn of Plenty and then set about forming an actual band.
  • Instrumentals: "Adelma."
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Colorado.”
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Two Weeks", "Fine For Now", "I Live With You", "Hold Still", "Sleeping Ute", "Half Gate", and "The Hunt", to name a few.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Lampshaded by Stephen Colbert, who described the animal as “[a] godless killing machine” and the band as "not too scary." Another article describes them as “more like otters than bears.” In general, all four members are very shy, polite, and sweet.
  • Odd Friendship: With Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Solange Knowles, of all people. Jay and Bey were seen at a Grizzly Bear show in 2009, with Jay going as far to proclaim that they were "a serious threat to hip-hop."
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with Chris Taylor and Chris Bear.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: They're startlingly handsome when put in suits for photos.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Ed’s rich, often low tone contrasts with his soft, lispy speaking voice.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: The ironically titled "Cheerleader":
    I'm cheerleading myself
    I should have made it matter.
  • Surreal Music Video:
    • "Knife"
    • "Two Weeks": The band as robots in a church. Their heads explode.
    • "Ready, Able": Done with Stop Motion Animation
    • "Gun-Shy"
  • Team Mom: Chris Taylor, who has been described as the band's "cheerleader and therapist."
  • Textless Album Cover: Shields.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Ed and Dan.