In addition to the attention received from a Super Bowl Volkswagon advert, for which the piano intro of "Two Weeks" is renowned, New York band Grizzly Bear found themselves in the spotlight upon the release of their 2009 sophomore album Veckatimest. It’s probable, had it not been for a strong showing by indie competitors Animal Collective, that Grizzly Bear would have produced last year’s number one album.
Frontman Chris Taylor refers to Veckatimest as “clearer” than their debut release, Yellow House, referring to the album as a bit “more accessible”. It's exactly this accessibility that has allowed a wider fan base to develop. Yet upon a closer listen, it becomes apparent that the music here is only "clear" in fits and bursts, and that the continuity of Veckatimest is a bit staggered. However, when approached as a whole, Grizzly Bear have put together a collection of tracks that as a journey from start to finish make much more sense than if one were to drop the needle at random.
These moments in the album that could be referred to as "more accessible" are specifically the songs "Two Weeks", "Ready, Able", "While You Wait For The Others", and arguably "Cheerleader". The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in the experimental/"connective tissue" vein of song. These parts mean just as much to the album in its entirety as do the more popular-formatted tracks. Veckatimest begins with a restless tune that can't decide between its folky acoustic leanings and crunchy bass driven refrain. But it is this polarity that sets the stage for the breadth that distinguishes Veckatimest.
The next track is the most melodically memorable and widely popular song on the album, "Two Weeks". With its happy-go-lucky flow and beachy vocal layering, it is no wonder this is the single most catchy tune on the album. Two of the most sleepy tracks follow. The heavy saturation of reverb reminds one of techniques used by Fleet Foxes and it is at this moment that it becomes apparent that, lyrically, singer Chris Taylor is delivering mostly generalizations and obscurities rather than tangible poetics. While this poses a problem for listeners trying to feast on a crumb of literalism, what can be seen as a lack of coherence is instead directing focus to a unity of scope that the music aspires to.