Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins review: The end of the world as they know it

Thu, Aug 17, 2017, 11:00


Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear



Grizzly Bear’s first record in five years considers what happens when our protective world crumbles, exposing our deepest anxieties. Employing a Van Dyke Parks attitude towards interesting textures, it is a treasure chest of sounds, as on Glass Hillside, which uses nature as a metaphor for escape.

There are more direct statements on personal trauma, however, such as Losing All Sense and the sensuous, sad Three Rings, with its slippery percussion and thoughts of lost love. Daniel Rossen and Ed Droste often sound like they are yearning for a better understanding of how to live well, as embodied by the instrumentally dense Aquarius.

Ditto the majestic Mourning Sound, with its thumping bass lines, and their elegant voices draped around driving drums and glacial synths – weary, yet moved by possibility. As Rossen sings on Four Cypresses, “it’s chaos, but it works.”