SOTD – Grizzly Bear by Angus & Julia Stone

Ahh, the sounds of the modern hippies. Love’em or hate’em as people, hippies can make pretty definitively great music.

I clearly remember having a discussion about music with one of my native Australian friends a few weeks into living in the Gold Coast, and the Aussie duo Angus & Julia Stone’s new self titled album came up early in the exchange. I was so excited about the conversation, as my eyes were finally opening to the possibilities hidden within foreign underground music that American media fails to promote, while at the same time I had finally found a nation of like-minded people who shared the same fervently aristocratic pride in alternative music that I had. My Aussie friend reaffirmed what I had assumed but took it a step further in saying, “Oh everyone in this country loves those two, but they’re kind of weird people. They’re brother and sister but they’re kind of like…hippies I guess? They’re just really free-spirited and open especially for siblings…they wear crappy clothes and travel around with nothing and care about small worldly nuances more than their own hygiene.” It wasn’t hard for me to admit that I was fairly fascinated with his bizarre description, only fueling my research-based fire ever further.

The ominous opening rift transitioning into a smoothly designed drum pattern sharply resembles the themes presented within seasonal change. With the passing times of year there seems to be minor changes that startles or arouses, often associated with climate or aesthetic, followed by acceptance of a season as smooth-sailing normalcy. To put that metaphor into context, “Grizzly Bear” introduces itself similar to a cool breeze that catches listeners in a state of uncertainty as they wonder what will come of the inevitable upcoming pattern changes. Next, the fluid percussion coupled with Angus Stone’s tranquilly slow voice relaxes listeners similar to how a sweatshirt easily comforts people with the coming of Autumn’s chilly temperatures. Although their inspiration likely lies within another source, you can expect similar earthy-crunchy inventiveness out of these modern hippies on a generally consistent basis. No complaints on my end as long as they keep pumping out beautifully mellow jams like this.

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