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Grizzly Bear began as a home recording project for Boston-bred experimentalist Edward Droste, the son of an elementary school teacher, who laid the groundwork for the band's otherworldly debut album on a small hand-held tape recorder while holed up for 15 months in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment. His homespun D.I.Y. effort took on new life with the help of multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bear, a Chicago native who had worked in a diverse range of musical projects ranging from laptop electronica to free jazz, who added additional instrumentation and vocals to Droste's stripped-down sonic blueprints.
The resulting album, Horn of Plenty -- a pet project originally meant only for Droste's friends -- eventually circulated through New York's underground music scene, with its unique blend of acoustic instruments, layered vocals, and found sounds earning comparisons to alt-rock heavy-hitters such as Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens, and Animal Collective. Originally released to little fanfare in 2004, the album gained momentum thanks to copious touring, with Chris Taylor joining the band on reeds and electronics, and Daniel Rossen providing additional guitar and vocals. It was reissued in 2005 as a two-CD set featuring remixes by Dntel (of the Postal Service), Final Fantasy, Solex, and the Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel of Matmos). An album of Droste's early demo recordings, Sorry for the Delay, was released in 2006 as the band finished up recording Yellow House, its second proper full-length album. Warp signed the band that spring and released Yellow House that fall. A year later, the Friend EP, which featured cameos from Beirut, CSS, and Band of Horses, arrived.
For 2009's elaborate Veckatimest, the band collaborated with contemporary classical composer/conductor Nico Muhly, Beach House vocalist Victoria LeGrand, the Acme String Quartet, and the Brooklyn Youth Choir. The album would be a resounding success for the band, debuting at number eight on the Billboard 200 and making the band a ubiquitous entry on critical year-end lists. The band eventually followed up three years later with its 2012 effort, Shields.
Grizzly Bear are 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.
Beginnings and Horn of Plenty (2002-2006) 
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, with Rossen stating, "For a long time, I only played my songs to close friends; and it just happened that I lived with Chris Taylor during my second year of college, so he heard them. He was my entrance into Grizzly Bear. He joined the band first, then after a while he suggested I come in with these songs. [...] When I joined, I did about two rehearsals with them, worked out one of my songs to put into the set, then a week later we were out on the road for a two-month tour. It was a real trial-by-fire thing. I was close with Chris and Chris [Bear], but I didn’t know Ed [Droste] at all; it was weird getting to know a stranger by spending all day in the same car."
Regarding the decision to turn Grizzly Bear into a full band, Droste noted "I was quite happy to relinquish the idea of being a solo artist. I hate the thought of being under a spotlight with my guitar, mumbling into a microphone. It’s horribly scary to me."
Yellow House (2006-2008) 
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.
On March 1, 2008, Grizzly Bear performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Veckatimest (2008-2010) 
In summer of 2008, Grizzly Bear opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour. In Toronto, on their last date of the tour together, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood spoke of his love for Grizzly Bear, on stage, calling them his favorite band. Of the experience, Taylor has commented: “It was shocking, and kind of unbelievable. It still is unbelievable. Opening for Radiohead was a huge honor for us, as a band and as individuals. We’ve all had long-term relationships with Radiohead’s music, so we didn’t want to take that opportunity for granted, and do anything less than the best we could." Christopher has also commented that it "was like a dream."
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 it’s 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)
In 2009, Grizzly Bear also contributed "Service Bell" (with Feist) and "Deep Blue Sea" to the AIDS benefit album Dark Was the Night produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Shields (2011-present) 
In March 2012, Daniel Rossen released a solo EP, Silent Hour/Golden Mile, consisting of tracks he had written for the band's forthcoming album, but were not used.
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.
On September 4th, 2012, the album leaked on the internet. Then on September 10th, the album was available for an early listen via the NPR website.
Collaboration, tours, and notable appearances 
In November 2007, the band released their EP Friend on Warp Records. The EP features collaborations with the Dirty Projectors and Beirut, as well as covers of Grizzly Bear songs by Cansei de Ser Sexy, Atlas Sound and Band of Horses.
Grizzly Bear has toured with TV on the Radio (U.S., October 2006), Feist (U.S., June 2007) and The xx (U.S., June 2013). In April 2008 Paul Simon asked Grizzly Bear to play with him for five nights during his month long residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, showcasing songs from his career. Grizzly Bear worked with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost. The band opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour of summer 2008.
Some notable concerts and music festivals in which Grizzly Bear has performed include the Coachella Music Festival (Indio, California, April 29, 2007); the Sasquatch Music Festival (George, Washington, May 26, 2007); the Roskilde Festival (Roskilde, Denmark, July 7, 2007); and the Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, July 14, 2007). On November 3, 2007 the band played as a part of the Wordless Music Series at the New York Society for Ethical Culture center. The show was later ranked by Stereogum.com as their Favorite Live Show of 2007. On March 1, 2008 Grizzly Bear played at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The first half of the show featured the orchestra playing selections chosen by Grizzly Bear while Grizzly Bear followed with a full set of their own songs. They also played at the 2008 Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois and the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival, along with appearing at the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival.
In 2009, they played at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 28 with Owen Pallett, backed by an orchestra arranged by Nico Muhly and conducted by Michael Christie. They played new songs from Veckatimest as well as songs from Yellow House. Ed Droste has stated that many songs (such as "Central and Remote", "Reprise" and "Campfire") will not be played again unless backed by an orchestra. In March 2009, they played two showcases at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas at the Central Presbyterian Church (Austin, Texas) and the Cedar Street Courtyard. In July 2009, they played at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. The band returned to Austin to perform at the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 3. The October 16 release of the Twilight Saga: New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack included Slow Life (track 13) by the band and featured guest vocals by Victoria Legrand of Beach House.
In the summer of 2009, Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended the band's show at East River State Park in New York City. Jay-Z praised the band as "incredible," claiming that "what the indie rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring", hoping that it would "push hip-hop to go even further."
The band performed at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway, on November 25, 2009, and subsequently arranged to play at the Falls Festival in Australia's Marion Bay and Lorne locations. Following the four-day Australian festival (from December 29 - January 1, 2010), the band performed on January 7, 2010, at the Sunset Sounds Festival in Brisbane, Queensland, and then on January 9, 2010, at the three-day Southbound Festival in Busselton, Western Australia.
They also played at the three-day Splendour in the Grass music festival in Woodford, Queensland on the 30th June 2010 with the likes of The Strokes, Pixies and Ben Harper & Relentless7.
In the summer of 2010, they played at the Nateva Music & Camping Festival. They played on the Main Stage on Saturday July 3. They also appeared at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit on October 23 and 24 in Mountain View, California.
Grizzly Bear have recently been confirmed to headline and curate ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror festival at Alexandra Palace in London on May 5th 2013.