w/Blessed Light, the Death Ryder Band
Sun Feb 27, Fun House, 9:30 pm, $5.
Despite the name, Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear don't flash piercing fangs in song; they're a different sort of animal, more befitting of the cozy warmth of self-imposed hibernation than snarling assaults. Frontman Edward Droste's hushed 6:00 a.m. confessions hang in a delicate fog over the gossamer instrumentation blowing sweet psych-folk breezes around him. The group has fleshed out its membership as gently as the musicians layer instrumental tracks with soft electronic stutters and modern-day field recordings, moving from Droste's solo bedroom experiments to a trio that includes Christopher Bear and Chris Taylor.
Grizzly's recent debut release, Horn of Plenty (Kanine), is a collection of what the group jokingly calls "cave-core" and plays as nicely between the new folk of Animal Collective and Sufjan Stevens as it does between such stargazing, boundary-stretching pop acts as the Beta Band and Lansing-Dreiden--although Grizzly Bear's arrangements are much quieter and more understated than the latter two artists. Clinking castanets, tinkling bells, muted handclaps, and lingering woodwinds and strings nestle up against confectionary harmonies that dissolve in acoustic-guitar melodies. Often, the group uses repetition to build the songs, with Droste repeating phrases like "I'm a deep sea diver" while adding subtle changes--the sounds of banging on metal desks and skipping vinyl recorded to handheld tape recorders and threaded through the tracks--to demarcate the next round. Horn of Plenty is one beast worthy of cuddling, as Grizzly Bear soundtrack leisurely, introspective mornings where sentimentality flickers as warm as a campfire and pop visions descend gently as snow.