Been thinking a lot lately about mood music.
I’m about to publish my favorite music of 2013 blog over on my personal site, and in doing so, I’ve been kicking around some playlists and new ways to describe my year in music.
As this is the 346th day in a row I’ve written something about an album each day, there have been quite a few instances in which I was in no mood or mind to write about that day’s album. If it was a good day, and I wanted to write about an upbeat record, it’d be a record steeped in sadness. If it was a down day and I wanted to wallow a little bit, it would be Andrew W.K. – because, as we all know, there are only two emotions: party or bullshit.
Somewhere in between those two feels is Grizzly Bear’s sophomore studio release, Yellow House.
Somehow, of their studio albums to date, I’ve only managed to write about their fabulous, lush third album, Veckatimest. Both records are mood music.
As an indie rock band that wavers between pop and experimental guitar-driven tunes, there is a certain mold that I think is befitting of listening to an album like this. That caste might be driving on an open road on a clear summer day, or something domestic like cleaning the house on a Sunday before a long week.
Which is to say, I’m for it, just not all the time.
Maybe it’s just my upbringing in punk rock (and later, hardcore), but man… I don’t know how people manage to listen to this stuff all the time. Do those humans exist? Have they ever listened to 80s music, the greatest generation of music ever?
I’d say the biggest difference between Yellow House and its successor, Veckatimest, is the experimentation. Yellow House at times feels quite demure, even downtrodden. Veckatimest feels so free and open, while this record may be at times more closed off.
Both good records, but for different reasons.
From Yellow House, this is “Knife” –
Standout tracks: “Knife,” “Plans,” and “On a Neck, On a Spit”
Weakest track: Having a tough time with this one, because this record is mostly sublime. A lot of listeners will like “Little Brother,” but that’s probably the low point for me.
RIYL: 100% visibility.