The new Grizzly Bear EP is one of those magical gems that come along every so often to brighten up an otherwise unremarkable day. ‘Friend EP’ is a series of covers and remixes (in the loosest sense of the word) of the group’s first two albums. The record features the likes of CSS and Band Of Horses and will firmly ensure that you will never hear the band in the same way ever again.
From the theatrical choral dramatics of opening track ‘Alligator’ to the final whistful strains of ‘Deep Blue Sea’ it is an album that will weave you into its delicate tangle of familiar and new. The collaborations are the culmination of three years of touring with other bands and hours of painstaking reworking of old material. The well-known three part harmonies and lazy, shimmering guitars are combined crashing symbols, heavy bass and in the case of ‘Plans’ plucked banjos.
It is a wonderful album, a must for fans of The Bear and a wonderful introduction for first time listeners. The covering bands have done the group justice, building on, rather than destroying the original material and adding their own trademark quirks and ticks to produce something unique and utterly special.