Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002. The band consists of Edward Droste (vocals, keyboards, omnichord), Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, banjo, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, various instruments, producer) and Christopher Bear (drums, backing vocals).
The band employs traditional and electronic instruments. Their sound has been categorized as psychedelic pop, folk rock, and experimental, and is dominated by the use of vocal harmonies. The band is one of the few non-electronic artists signed to Warp Records.
Grizzly Bear began as a moniker for songwriter Ed Droste's music in the early 2000s. Regarding the band's origins as a solo project, Droste noted, "It was just like doing a little home project, and I thought "oh, this is fun, I'm just going to call this stuff Grizzly Bear. [...] Our name was actually just a nickname for an old boyfriend of mine."
In 2004, Droste released Grizzly Bear's debut album, Horn of Plenty. Predominately a solo album the album featured contributions from future drummer Christopher Bear. Rolling Stone magazine wrote of the first album that "The pure atmospheric power of the songs is more than enough to hypnotize."
Droste and Bear were subsequently joined by bass guitarist and producer Chris Taylor, and performed four shows together as a three-piece. Regarding these shows, Droste noted, "We've never played without the four of us, really. The first couple shows we did before we knew Dan [Rossen], we did with three of us and they kind of sucked. From the get-go, when we were trying to put together a live show, that's when we discovered our sound and that's why I think that was the beginning of the band."
Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rossen, a friend of Bear's from jazz-camp,joined the band soon after.
Their first record as a quartet and to feature material written by Rossen, Yellow House, was released on Warp Records in September 2006. It was named for Droste's mother's house where it was recorded and ranked as one of the top albums of 2006 by the New York Times and Pitchfork Media. In 2007, Rossen recorded a cover of JoJo's single "Too Little Too Late" for Droste's twenty-ninth birthday. In 2006 the band did a Take-Away Show session with Vincent Moon. Also in 2007, the band released Friend, an EP which features outtakes, alternate versions of songs, and covers of Grizzly Bear material done by Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), Band of Horses, and Atlas Sound. In addition, members of the Dirty Projectors and Beirut collaborated with the band on "Alligator" and the EP's hidden track.
The group then convened at a house on Cape Cod to solidify their third full-length album, Veckatimest, which released in May 2009 and was named "after a tiny, uninhabited island on Cape Cod that the band visited and was inspired by, particularly liking its Native American name." Upon release the album reached No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and met with widespread critical acclaim. Chris Bear has noted that compared to Yellow House, the band's 2009 release Veckatimest is more of an accessible pop record. He said: "I think that its kinda clearer, clearer equals more accessible I feel like clearer equals more accessible in general as a rule." Veckatimest made many Top Album lists for 2009 (#1 Wall Street Journal, No. 6 Pitchfork, No. 6 New York Times, No. 8 Time).
On June 5, 2012, the song "Sleeping Ute" from their then-untitled upcoming studio album was posted on the band's website, along with the album's track listing and tour dates. On July 9, 2012, the band revealed the album's title to be Shields.