By Jim Schutze
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Grizzly Bear's Yellow Houseis a cinematic masterpiece. The sophomore album by the Brooklyn-based quartet borrows both the Beach Boys' harmonies and wall of sound techniques to create beautiful, intimate and inviting backdrops through which each song develops and unfolds. It's as much an artistic experience as it is a musical one. The album, which was recorded at frontman Edward Broste's mother's home, uses layers of instrumentation—banjo, guitar, glockenspiel, keyboards—like extras on a set, enhancing the levels of detail and complicating the presentation.
It's no wonder then that some have speculated on a possible correlation between Yellow Houseand Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 1995 foreign flick La Cité des Enfants Perdus(The City of Lost Children). After all, the surrealistic haze of Grizzly Bear's music seems perfectly suited for such a dark and fantastic depiction. Chris Taylor, who joined the group after Horn of Plenty and supplies bass, electronics and woodwinds, settles the dispute once and for all.
Is there any relation betweenYellow Houseand Jean-Pierre Jeunet'sThe City of Lost Children?
No, not intentionally. In fact, I don't think anyone in the band had even seen the movie until someone suggested the connection. That was definitely not the intent. Have you watched it?
No, I haven't.
I think it would be really awesome if it did synchronize up, but it doesn't really work as well as it was reported. The first two songs, "Easier" and "Lullaby," do line up quite well, but once you get to "Knife" it doesn't really correlate to anything. There's a lot of gun fighting and stuff, which is really kind of interesting, but I'm not sure how well it actually connects.
Are you impressed at least that someone took the time to even think of that possible correlation?
That's what I thought was the coolest thing. It was a really big compliment in a way that someone would take the time to really study and examine the album and explore the themes. I felt flattered.
If Grizzly Bear were to score a movie, what directors would you want to work with?
I think working with Jean-Pierre Jeunet would be absolutely amazing. I'm a big fan of Amelie. We'd be open for pretty much anything. No romantic comedies—that probably wouldn't work. That's something we'd like to get into; we've talked about it a lot.
I could hear Grizzly Bear in the background of a Wes Anderson film, some hopelessly dark and slow scene that's perfectly framed, which makes it kind of romantic, but in an odd way.
Right, you could cue us for the awkward kissing scene.
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