As founding member for Grizzly Bear, Ed Droste has shaped the sound of modern indie music. Across five albums, the American band have layered intricate and nuanced guitar music with choirboy vocals and a lot of heart. Their breakthrough album was Yellow House, but since then they’ve held fans enraptured and toured Australia multiple times over the years. Their latest album is Painted Ruins, a record that came after a five year break from the band. With Grizzly Bear’s layered music in mind, I gave Ed the theme “songs that unravel.” The mid 90’s reigned supreme as the meat in this sandwich, but he really did go all over the place and spoke about the songs he loved as well as the time we’re living in, as music fans. From album vs playlist culture, to the risks we take in music, this is a wonderful conversation not only diving into his own collection but his deepest thoughts on the state of the industry.
I really enjoy going back and listening to older episodes that I missed. A couple of things that stood out in this interview with Ed Droste was the listening process and the ‘playlist generation’. He reflects on growing up with records and how the form forces you to listen to each track, rather than skipping. For Droste, it usually takes five listens to form a judgment. This expereince reminds me of Jim Groom’s Vinylcasts.
The other point of interest in the podcast was Droste’s discussion of songs and the way they can change over time, evolving with their live performance. Sometimes the live performance forces you to re-listen to the recorded version.
There are also times when you can return to an older song with fresh energy.