Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen played a sultry late summer set in Melbourne, STACK‘s Paul Jones was there.
Three guitars, a banjo and a grand piano: That’s the only accompaniment Daniel Rossen requires on a sultry late summer’s evening in Melbourne. A capacity crowd, enjoying the air-conditioned comfort and convenient bar of the Northcote Social Club band room, avidly applauds the arrival on stage of the Grizzly Bear guitarist and frontman, who, as he tells the assemblage, is on “vacation” from his other band.
Rossen recorded a collection of his own compositions when the extensive global tour obligations that followed in the wake of Grizzly Bear’s second long player, Veckatimest, had concluded. The resulting EP, Silent Hour/Golden Mile (released in 2012), is the reason the multi-instrumentalist is with us this evening.
The sparse Up On High kicks off the set, with Rossen working his way through 15 tracks, swapping instruments and politely interacting with a deferential crowd. He plays the sumptuous In Ear Park, a track from Rossen’s other side project, Department of Eagles, takes up the banjo for Grizzly’s Easier and swings his legs over the piano stool for the beautifully performed Saint Nothing. In such an intimate setting, the talented musician leads us through an eclectic acoustic journey, reaching stirring peaks with both instrument and voice.
The set draws to a close with the appropriately titled Balmy Night; the diffident Rossen steps back onto the low stage for a one-song encore. “You’re so respectful”, he quips. He had just given us every reason to be.
Department of Eagles In Ear Park (2008)
Dedicated to Rossen’s late father, In Ear Park is an ambitious collection of well-crafted songs – with more than just a subtle tip of the hat to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – which flourish with every listen. Discover In Ear Park on JB HI-Fi NOW
Grizzly Bear Yellow House (2006)
Grizzly Bear’s second album, and the first to feature Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor, Yellow House is an amalgam of four different styles meeting in an intricate union that simply works.