Now Playing – every week, a roundtable of our writers will give their views on one of the recently-released new tracks. It’s as simple as that! If you want to tell us what you think of the song, feel free to leave a comment below.
Track: ‘Sleeping Ute’ by Grizzly Bear
Average grade: 7.7
Kenny: After a discordant start this achieves a more melodic balance once the vocals come in although the change from the noisy bit to the quieter last 90 seconds is a bit abrupt. Middle of the road and what you’d expect from the band so 6/10
Tom: Grizzly Bear’s new single comes with a glorious guitar sound, all rumbling thunder and steel. The lyrics involve a shamanic vision of dreams invading reality. Through the smoke and the dark, there’s a glimpse of something that could be death or could be life. ’Sleeping Ute’ unveals a thrillingly sinister sound. 9/10
James: How do they get so many layers in one track! That said, their talent and the tasteful production makes it all so effortless and allows all the right amount of character to jump out or die down at just the right time. 8/10
Anna: This is less poppy than their previous offerings, which is good for me as I was not particularly moved by them (har har). A touch of psychedelia, a melody that feels constantly evolving and some beautiful guitar playing; the tune manages to sound complex and easy on the ears at the same time.
/friendly roar. 7/10
Richard: A way to fan the flames of anticipation before the arrival of a new album is to release a song jammed full of intensity. Grizzly Bear have thrown a gas canister into the flames and now stand back as shrapnel and carnage rip through the air. ‘Sleeping Ute’ is sharp, with serrated riffs, and pained vocals from Ed Droste. I was expecting something a lot more subdued to come from the band as they returned from the wilderness, so this really has surprised me. 8/10
Stuart: Grizzly Bear’s ‘Sleeping Ute’ sounds like a Radiohead record cross-mixed with any track off Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ played backwards, then smashed with a hammer, frazzled with an oxy-acetylene torch, pasted back together with pieces missing by means of sticky-backed plastic and then played forwards again…through a Fisher-Price ‘My First Record Player’…one that’s running low on batteries and has been chewed to near oblivion by the local stray alsatian. And I mean this in a good way: It’s far and away the most interesting and captivating track I’ve heard this week. It rumbles on a little too long but what the hell, nothing’s perfect (except maybe ‘Cherish’ by Madonna…OBVIOUSLY). 9/10
Craig: The strumming at the beginning stays true to Grizzly Bear’s original 6-string guitar sound, though this new track as a whole shows significant development in song structure. Unlike those on their first two albums especially, this song is more complete. Through the layering of multiple synth sounds, drums, and uneasy chords they create a calculated cacophony that builds as a storm would. It crescendos and falls organically into a more-realized structure with a narrative and emotional arc. I am excited to hear the rest of their upcoming fourth album. 8/10
Linda: Ow, just the fact that Grizzly Bear are releasing another album is getting me all excited. Veckatimest still finds its way to my record player quite often, and Chris Taylor’s CANT album didn’t go entirely unnoticed either. Despite those (unreasonably?) high expectations, this song definitely doesn’t disappoint. Quite the opposite actually. 8.5/10
Stef: Sorry to kind of be the spoilsport, but I am not that much of a fan of those noisy parts in the first section of the song. I feel like, one guitar could’ve evoked the same atmosphere, and now it is such a jumble. Naturally, the second part works better because of the contrast with the first part, so that’s extra emotion you pull out of the hat there. Still though, not sure if I’d want to listen to that start too often, though I love the vocals. 6/10