One track today: the debut solo single by Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear, which comes out on his own new label, Terrible, under the name of Cant. I’ve begun to assemble my albums of the year lists for the mag over the past week, and my personal favourite is looking likely to be “Veckatimest”, sad indie cliché that such a choice may make me.
But anyhow, the music coming out in the slipstream of “Veckatimest” is also pretty special, most recently the astounding version of “While You Wait For The Others” with the new lead vocal by Michael McDonald, and Cant’s “Ghosts” is just about as brilliant.
Like Daniel Rossen’s Department Of Eagles album from last year, “Ghosts” makes it fairly obvious which band Taylor comes from. He has a good claim to be the specific director of this sound, however, since it was Taylor who actually produced both “Veckatimest” and “In Ear Park”.
“Ghosts” has a lot of the elements that made those records so beguiling: stark tambourine and drumbeats that could’ve been lifted from a vintage girl group single, or at least a very early Mary Chain one; watery, engulfing harmonies; that crotchety, fractionally disruptive guitar that previously came to the fore in “I Live With You”.
That song is possibly the closest thing to “Ghosts”, but this new Taylor song is more spare, a little distrait, unanchored; it actually makes me want to go back and listen to the very first Grizzly Bear album for the first time in years, because I suspect this might provide a link of sorts between where they began and where they’ve ended up.
What initially seems fragile and dislocated, however, gradually coalesces into a simple, nagging and magnificent sigh of a chorus that has a similarly transporting and addictive effect as one of my very favourite singles, Plush’s “Found A Little Baby”. I’ve just played this five times in a row while writing the review and it gets better every time. Oh, and the seven-inch, which I don’t have, has an unreleased Arthur Russell song on the flip; wow.