Mr Moore, the stick, if you please…
Jordan Sargent: Grizzly Bear songs are like paintings that you look at in a gallery. You go, “Well, this is pretty” and then you walk away.
Chuck Eddy: So what’s supposed to make these lethargic twits so otherworldly and awesome again? Must be the harmonies, since as innocuous as they are, they’re all I hear, beyond some piddly clinking at the end. And that’s enough for a full fucking page in the NY Times Sunday Arts section? Which I didn’t read? This is hookless, gutless, grooveless, shapeless drivel for college children who still wet Mom’s bed. “Doo wop” my ass.
John M. Cunningham: Sasha Frere-Jones recently called “Two Weeks” a “big, fat ice-cream cone of a song,” but while that certainly gets at the lush, creamy harmonies that have become Grizzly Bear’s stock-in-trade, the composition is also more refined than that bold, dripping metaphor would suggest. Its gently plinking piano (dutifully keeping time) and elegantly twisting melody remind me instead of a fancier dessert I had not long ago: banana brioche bread pudding in the compact shape of a mini-tart and filled in the center with liquid chocolate, which, once released, streamed down the plate into a dollop of, yes, vanilla ice cream. Exquisite and unexpected.
Michaelangelo Matos: The Decade of Hyperquirk cannot end fast enough. I hear this and all I can think is, enough Mountain Dew. Enough quoting Conan sketches to each other and laughing, then laughing some more because no one else gets it. Please stop thinking your preferring joke rap to actual rap is anything other than sad. I don’t care about your dollar-store xylophone or your unironic love of Billy Joel. And stop eating my fucking ice cream at 3 in the morning when you think I can’t hear you — your rent is late.
Hillary Brown: Not perfection, but it’s very cartwheels by starlight, which could clearly cause it to come off precious to come. Still, this song is no Manic Pixie Dreamgirl. It’s got some staying power and its quirk isn’t by the numbers.
Anthony Easton: Indie Rock stole Monica’s pianos and choirs. They should give them back.
Martin Kavka: I usually hate hyped indie bands. But even though this is by far the best song on Veckatimest, it alone justifies all the praise this band has gotten. Why? Because it’s simply an ordinary song. Its chords and bass line aren’t complex; its harmonies are predictable to anyone who has even a slight acquaintance with The Beach Boys and/or Buxtehude. But it’s all so purely done, as if the band had not only cognized the Platonic Form of Pop, but has completely exploded the boundary between the ideal and real. Bonus point for the Patrick Daughters video, which is the best thing he’s ever done. Shouldn’t Palm Pictures put out a Directors’ Series set of his videos now?
Martin Skidmore: I learn from the internet that this is neo-psychedelic chamber pop. Not just crappy indie, then. A piano plunks along, the singer tries to croon sweetly, and they try to be the Beach Boys, if the Beach Boys had been kind of clumsy and without songwriting or harmonising or producing talent.
Alfred Soto: Maturity is hard, especially when you’re still infatuated with the favorite records of your adolescence.
Alex Ostroff: Musically, Two Weeks has a nice swing to it, with jaunty piano chords and a loping, shuffling drum line. The barbershop backing vocals, organ arpeggios, and effervescent harmonies evoke Brian Wilson in a way that other thus-labeled indie bands never truly have. The lyrics are vague, but invert Wilson’s teenage symphonies of eternal love, focusing on the slow malaise of relationships – not “forever”, but yesterday, today, tomorrow, one day at a time. Heavenly.
Iain Mew: Feels like a choir of one trying to recreate songs he heard in a dream once, while the world’s gentlest circus juggles and whirls around him. Many listens in and meaning still eludes me, but it’s very intriguing and a touch addictive.
Matt Cibula: Pretty enough but it must be very tiring being Grizzly Bear, what with not being able to remember if you are Animal Collective or Vampire Weekend or a strange hybrid of the two. Plus all the standing all the time because on the evidence of this song your band has NO ASS AT ALL.
Doug Robertson: While on the one hand there’s clearly a great deal of talent at work here, on the other it’s just so pleasantly dull that it’s hard to give much more than a half hearted shoulder shrug about the end result. If you went to the crossroads to sell your soul to the devil and this was the skill set you got in return you’d be justified in being incredibly angry. Although by the sounds of this anger isn’t an emotion they’ve ever felt before. Slightly miffed, yes, but raw, pulsing anger – or any other emotion for that matter – no.
Ian Mathers: Most of “Two Weeks” just sort of lies there (a common problem with these guys), but that swoon of a chorus is actually pretty bewitching. And they seem to know it, too – the whole song is either chorus or clever feints towards the chorus. Maybe there’s hope for them after all.