Grizzly Bear will release their greatly anticipated new LP Shields next week, the follow-up to 2009’s critically acclaimed and masterful breakthrough album Veckatimest. We’ve previously heard the explosive, unexpected single ‘Sleeping Ute‘ and the comparably intimate and dreamy ‘Yet Again‘, and now the entire album is available to stream courtesy of NPR. While peers such as The xx and Animal Collective somewhat struggled to follow-up their 2009 career-best efforts, on first listen Grizzly Bear seem to have done so effortlessly, managing to maintain their beloved, meticulously-crafted sound and peerless harmonies while still exploring new sonic territories. Shields is an exciting, refreshing and remarkable album which is certainly a contender in the Album of the Year conversation — and possibly the band’s best yet — and I’m going to find it difficult to listen to anything else in the coming months (especially considering that I’ll be seeing them twice in November; first at Melbourne’s Harvest Festival, and again at Auckland’s Bruce Mason Centre).
Shields is out September 18. Stream it below (via NPR).