What's most magical in music is how diverse it is, and how genre isn't the only way a message can be sent across. Bands who push a more introverted agenda tend to make something that sounds magical as well. Grizzly Bear creates dreamy soundscapes in Painted Ruins, their new record that'll have you sailing through the clouds.
Grizzly Bear takes off running with Painted Ruins, though not in the sense of energy. 'Wasted Acres' brings a chill and moody vibe to the beginning of the album, not hyping you up but instead pushing forward the barren imagery of the record. 'Mourning Sound' has a bit more of a lively edge to it, though it comes in the form of a punchy creepiness above anything else. The spacial adventurous vibe of 'Glass Hillside' later on in the record maintains the album's aesthetic, and the music even goes underwater with the abyssal sounds of 'Aquarian.'
Beyond the very dreamy soundscapes, Grizzly Bear also delivers some powerful messages in Painted Ruins as well. The whole sound of the record has a clear influence from Radiohead, songs like 'Four Cypresses' sounding like there's sorrow brewing deep within the mysterious textures. 'Three Rings' even has that electronic, jagged tick that Radiohead has so perfectly taken over in their last efforts. The gentle, almost pleading nature of 'Losing All Sense' makes it hit hard like a dreamy Radiohead number, while the internal tragedy of 'Neighbors' could've come straight out of Thom Yorke's mind.
Grizzly Bear creates dreamy soundscapes in Painted Ruins, taking a page from Radiohead and adding their own personal touch to it. Not every track is a big hit but they all build one distinct world and picture, giving the album a sense of integrity and shows the potential of Grizzly Bear.
Favorite Tracks: Losing All Sense, Three Rings
Least Favorite Track: Sky Took Hold
Rating: 77 / 100
Stream or buy Painted Ruins on Apple Music: