From the first jazzy chords of kinetic album opener “Southern Point,” Grizzly
Bear has a spring in its step — the kind of sly self-possession that signals the group knows something you don’t (and not just the proper pronunciation of Veckatimest). Their confidence isn’t unfounded: This isn’t just the Brooklyn band’s finest record to date; it’s one of the top releases of the year. Co-frontmen Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen have proven to be students of the Lennon/McCartney tradition, with Rossen providing the album’s sharpest moments (“While You Wait for the Others”) and Droste providing the sweetest (“Cheerleader” and the heart-stoppingly gorgeous “Foreground”). The biggest surprise: “Two Weeks” is going to be the pop song of the summer, coasting on Chris Bear’s tasteful, propulsive drumming and four-part doo-wop harmony so bright it could part clouds. This isn’t just GB’s “pop” record, though — the careful sonic textures that colored Yellow House are back, and better. Rather, Veckatimest is the sound of a young group realizing and building on its potential, stretching out in all directions at once without stretching itself too thin.