With »Shields«, Grizzly Bear are releasing their fourth studio album, on which they sound more resolute yet playful than ever before. The record starts out with the rather experimental song »Sleeping Ute«, and its confusing structure leaves all rules about bars, beats and melodies behind. Over and over, the drums are breaking down on Daniel Rossen, who slightly contortedly sings »And I Can’t Help Myself«. The vocal interaction between Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen round off the track perfectly, adding the necessary clarity. »Shields« is a solid album that keeps developing, which makes the beginning especially hard to listen to. Some listeners might expect the familiar polyphonic sound of happy-go-lucky-indie, but instead, they get a construction kit made of jazz, blues and synthz from the 90s. One realizes more and more that Grizzly Bear use »Shields« to play off all the creative outbursts they’ve bottled up, while appearing authentically liberated. »What’s Wrong« is instrumentalized beautifully and uses its playful elements to build a virtuosic bridge towards rock. Again, the voices of Ed an Daniel interplay in perfect harmony. »Shields« closes with the track »Sun In Your Eyes«, bundling the sheer power of the whole record and making us enjoy the last sun beams even more.