Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grizzly Bear Heats Up the Album of the Year Race

By Evan Rytlewski
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The unanimous praise for Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest, released today after months of Internet hype, quickly brings to mind the fervor over Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion earlier this year, so in coming months we can expect to see a narrative unfold: Which will be deemed the album of the year? It's fun to speculate about in the same way it is to predict the song of the summer. Animal Collective's record will likely be the bigger sensation, but so many listeners might be turned off by Merriweather's, for lack of a better term, Animal Collective-ness, that Grizzly Bear could prove themselves the Kris Allen to Animal Collective's Adam Lambert. 

The other obvious narrative: It's been a great year for indie-rock. Veckatimest and Merriweather Post Pavilion will earn the most ink, but Antony and the Johnsons, The Thermals, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Neko Case, Cymbals Eat Guitars and White Rabbits have released phenomenal albums, while net favorites Fever Ray, Camera Obscura, Wavves, Dan Deacon and St. Vincent are all primed for end-of-the-year accolades as the excellent Dark Was the Night compilation made a tight, compelling case that this loosely defined genre is in the middle of a creative renaissance.

It'll be exciting to see what the next six months bring.

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