Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Maggie Rogers, Sundara Karma, Kurt Vile and more.
Order a copy
November 2018
Review

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

Bolstered by a new sense of freedom, 'Painted Ruins' is an eclectic and engaging listen.
Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins
Published: 2:53 pm, August 17, 2017
Bolstered by a new sense of freedom, 'Painted Ruins' is an eclectic and engaging listen.

'Album' of 'the Week'


Label: Columbia/RCA
Released: 18th August 2017
Rating: ★★★★

An album conceived through digital collaboration from four separate residences, you might have been inclined to think the end was nigh for Grizzly Bear. An album they were never sure they were going to make, various life changes pushed them to question life in their thirties, wondering if there was a place for them to paper over the cracks that life had woven into them.

A few tracks in, and it’s clear that despite its extended, tentative germination, ‘Painted Ruins’ is in as lush fruition as any Grizzly Bear record prior. Bolstered by this new sense of freedom, it’s an eclectic and engaging listen; ‘Wasted Acres' is a comparatively sparse opener, a low-key beat that nervously questions “Are you even listening?”, before giving way to the driving rock of ‘Mourning Sound', a track that Win Butler would gladly swap his pearly king jacket for.

‘Neighbours’ celebrates the beauty in bleakness ("We watch our bodies break / Not a care in the world"), while ‘Three Rings’ makes a play to cement itself amongst their most swoonsome of singles, a plaintive and desperately romantic call to an escaping lover or friend. “Don’t you be so reasoned / Don’t you know that I can make it better?” Often unsettling, but always beautiful, its glorious crescendo offers the same emotional payoff as anything from the ‘Yellow House’ era.

A lot has changed in the world in the past five years - Droste has divorced, Taylor is a father and despite best endeavour, America as we know it has fallen into the hands of an egomaniac set to threaten the liberties we hold dearest. These themes of acclimatising to a new, scary way of living are present in abundance, but so is the strength of collaboration - Grizzly Bear has long been a band of democracy, and they complement one another in a way only well-practiced pals can, as evergreen as ‘four cypresses’ title suggests. As Droste croons “It’s chaos, but it works”, you’re tempted to believe him - a small flicker of hope that we may all get out of this alive. Jenessa Williams

Give all this a try

Listen to The 1975's latest banger, 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)'
Listen

Listen to The 1975's latest banger, 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)'

The latest cut from 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships' is here.
LANY: Gotta get thru this
Feature

LANY: Gotta get thru this

Break ups are tough, right? LANY’s Paul Klein takes life’s shitty moments and turns them into solid gold bangers.
Parcels: Signed, sealed, delivered
Feature

Parcels: Signed, sealed, delivered

Berlin-based Australian five-piece Parcels will have you heading straight for the dancefloor.
Basement: “Sometimes you need to check yourself and appreciate what you have”
Feature

Basement: “Sometimes you need to check yourself and appreciate what you have”

Vocalist Andrew Fisher offers up a glimpse into the inner-workings of the band’s new record.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing