“Deep Sea Diver” - Grizzly Bear
No one can really understand why Horn of Plenty is my favorite Grizzly Bear album. I am aware that it doesn’t contain all the band, that Chris Taylor found it to be “emo,” and that Ed Droste never really meant for anyone to hear it. Despite all that, truthfully, few albums have really connected with me in the way that Horn of Plenty has.
When I first found Grizzly Bear, as a young Lauren with bad hair and turtlenecks (picture proof, you’re welcome internet) growing up in a very Christian home, I didn’t identify with having good sex (“La Duchess Anne”), requesting my lover to cum again all over me (“Fix It”) or even the album’s general mood of breakups being the worst. At the time I was looking for an escape in music and looking to find out who I was and why no one else in my high school liked Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Horn of Plenty provided me that escape and though at times the escape is definitely a little bleak I continue to seek this freedom again and again.
Much of Horn of Plenty including my chosen/favorite song above, “Deep Sea Diver” was manipulated by hand, with Droste gathering sounds from around and in his apartment. In a past interview Droste described it as, “it tells the story of a crappy break up, through found sounds like knees pressing in and out of my metal desk.” Also added to the mix were instruments including recorders and maracas that his mother, an elementary school music teacher, provided. Led by Droste’s muffled vocals, which were the result of his fear of singing, the album catapulted them into the Brooklyn spotlight, their indie folk drawing comparisons from Animal Collective to Nick Drake.
Horn of Plenty is the most personal album we’ll ever receive from Grizzly Bear. Their songwriting process would later encapsulate four members instead of just Droste and though their current material still relies on signature cryptic lyrical content, it hasn’t been as outright direct and focused around one band member since this album. “Deep Sea Diver” captures some of that signature mystery, but it’s also pretty clear that Droste wishes his ex would pay attention, “around here, I’m sad swimming and you don’t care.”
Now as an adult I can confirm that yes, breakups are in fact the worst, but the real reason I’ve come to love Horn of Plenty is because there will never be another Horn of Plenty. This may have been a bedroom experiment in indie-rock and sound, but it’s the first hint of something way bigger to come. Each listen I discover something new in the lyrics, in the hidden sounds of Droste’s apartment and in the nature of who Droste was at that time. Not everything is revealed at first, but if you take the time to listen Grizzly Bear has a lot to share.
Kerry’s favorite track: “Fix It”
Our first post is up over at One Week One Band! We’ll be covering Grizzly Bear all week long so follow the blog for more postings from us!
Ed Droste discusses Bulgakov, ’90s R&B and Japan in this week’s NME mag. Click here to view.
VMan Magazines gets an oral history of Grizzly Bear from Ed Droste. Photography by Josh Olins. Read (here).
Congratulations to Ed Droste for being chosen as one of Out Magazine’s musicians represented in the Out 100 for 2012.
Take it all in stride/ Speak, don’t confide.” That’s a memorable couplet that Droste sings on Shields, his latest album with Brooklyn quartet Grizzly Bear, and an apt summary of the musician’s output over the past nine years. There’s always been a sense of knowing and not telling in the gorgeous guitar rock he and his bandmates produce. Shields, a thunderous, more outgoing achievement all but cements Droste’s status as one of indie rock’s most gifted singer-songwriters. - Out Magazine
Photography by M. Sharkey
The issue is available now for order and the above link has a small interview with Daniel Rossen.
Photographed by Shunichi Oda
Grizzly Bear featured in The Fly Magazine. Click here to view the issue.
(Photos: Tom Bunning)
Ed Droste is featured in the November 2012 issue of Interview Magazine
“Our dog is like the peacemaker in the band. Whenever we’re stressed, everyone just takes him and uses him as a therapy pillow and just hugs him and pets him. He was there for almost every recording, rehearsal, and songwriting session ever. He’s sort of this weird, soothing object. He’s basically required. If we could bring him on the road, we would. But I think a dog on a bus with wall-to-wall carpeting is not a good idea with this Beast. Beast is like my ultimate soother. He just soothes my sensibilities in every way possible. Unconditional love.” -Ed Droste
Nitsuh Abebe gives us a pretty great profile on the band and what it means to be Grizzy Bear in 2012. The piece also reveals the video plans for “A Simple Answer”.
Photo: Tom Hines
Interview + Article in Notion Magazine