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Boomkat Product Review:
A collection of previously unreleased recordings from Fred Nicolaus and Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, this compilation plays out like a laboratory document that led to more fleshed out and polished Department Of Eagles songs as well as one or two bits and pieces that became Grizzly Bear songs. The lo-fi 'Practice Room Sketches' are always interesting, recurring throughout the album, and the entries that open and close the album prove especially of interest: 'Practice Room Sketch 1' features some of the founding material for GB's 'Easier' (from their Yellow House LP) and 'Practice Room Sketch 5' evolves into a spooky piece of piano-driven ephemera that sounds like something culled from an old library record. As for more fully formed songs, there are some remarkable offerings collected here - not least 'Golden Apple', which arrives late on in the album but is probably worth skipping ahead to. It's a Beatles-y number that builds though piano parts and accumulates a glorious string and choral section at the close that owes much to the art of multitracking (there are only two people performing, after all). 'Deadly Disclosure' and 'While We're Young' are also eminently noteworthy, with the latter featuring production work from Rossen's Grizzly Bear pal Chris Taylor. Recommended.