The Brooklyn-based, hard to classify Grizzly Bear, after taking a year from releasing 2006’s lauded “Yellow House”, filled the gap in their discography earlier this month with their “Friend” EP. Overall, this is a pretty solid release, but I’ll append that with a disclaimer that I’m more forgiving of EPs (since they seem to usually crop up due to impatience from execs/fans or excess of material lying around). Except for a few tracks that play like early Elephant 6 recordings (read: pre-“Avery Island” Neutral Milk Hotel’s cacophonous collection of noise, lo-fi in the bad way), “Friend” spans musical boundaries and is bound to strike a good chord on at least one song. The original material may be a little lacking – almost all of the songs are reworked versions of earlier cuts, and they included a considerably more mournful cover of the Mo-town sweethearts The Crystals “He Hit Me (and it Felt Like a Kiss)”. Old lyrics aside, they score a lot of hits: a plucky banjo-driven cover by Band of Horses adds some country variety, the electric version of “Little Brother” is phenomenal,  and the choral version of Alligator manages to sound lo-fi symphonic (in the good way). Although, the crowd fav is probably going to be the CSS cover of Knife. I know David just posted the Girl Talk version, but I couldn’t resist. It took all my restraint not to post the Born Ruffians version too (not from this EP, but from my personal reserve of Knife covers… apparently, I like that song a lot).

Grizzly Bear – Knife (Covered by CSS)

On a different (indie-pop) note, I also wanted to post a video from the Canuck band Mother Mother, who were in Kingston last month performing with Dragonette and The Most Serene Republic. This hodgepodge group of hipsters pull off the acoustic stuff in a slick, edgy way and incorporate some twangy-ness as well. It’s toe-tapping, lyrically-witty, fun music. And the music video involves merpeople. What more could you ask for?


— , November 16, 2007    Comments Off on Grizzly Bear: Friend EP