Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002. The band consists of Edward Droste (vocals, keyboards, omnichord), Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, banjo, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, various instruments, producer) and Christopher Bear (drums, backing vocals).
The band employs traditional and electronic instruments. Their sound has been categorized as psychedelic pop, folk rock, and experimental, and is dominated by the use of vocal harmonies. The band is one of the few non-electronic artists signed to Warp Records.
Grizzly Bear began as a moniker for songwriter Ed Droste’s music in the early 2000s. Regarding the band’s origins as a solo project, Droste noted, “It was just like doing a little home project, and I thought “oh, this is fun, I’m just going to call this stuff Grizzly Bear. […] Our name was actually just a nickname for an old boyfriend of mine.”
In 2004, Droste released Grizzly Bear’s debut album, Horn of Plenty. Predominately a solo album the album featured contributions from future drummer Christopher Bear. Rolling Stone magazine wrote of the first album that “The pure atmospheric power of the songs is more than enough to hypnotize.”
Droste and Bear were subsequently joined by bass guitarist and producer Chris Taylor, and performed four shows together as a three-piece. Regarding these shows, Droste noted, “We’ve never played without the four of us, really. The first couple shows we did before we knew Dan [Rossen], we did with three of us and they kind of sucked. From the get-go, when we were trying to put together a live show, that’s when we discovered our sound and that’s why I think that was the beginning of the band.”
Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rossen, a friend of Bear’s from jazz-camp, joined the band soon after. Rossen stated, “For a long time, I only played my songs to close friends; and it just happened that I lived with Chris Taylor during my second year of college, so he heard them. He was my entrance into Grizzly Bear. He joined the band first, then after a while he suggested I come in with these songs. […] When I joined, I did about two rehearsals with them, worked out one of my songs to put into the set, then a week later we were out on the road for a two-month tour. It was a real trial-by-fire thing. I was close with Chris and Chris [Bear], but I didn’t know Ed [Droste] at all; it was weird getting to know a stranger by spending all day in the same car.”
Regarding the decision to turn Grizzly Bear into a full band, Droste noted “I was quite happy to relinquish the idea of being a solo artist. I hate the thought of being under a spotlight with my guitar, mumbling into a microphone. It’s horribly scary to me.”
In 2005, The Remixes, a collection of remixed songs from Horn of Plenty, was released by Kanine. Contributors include Simon Bookish, Final Fantasy, Soft Pink Truth, DNTEL, Efterklang, and Ariel Pink.