Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
"She Found A Way Out," a song from Grizzly Bear Chris Taylor's debut album under the name, CANT, has a helluva way of introducing itself. It starts off with one of those nice handshakes, where you find yourself pleasantly surprised by the warmth, tenderness and firmness of it. It doesn't last too long and everything about it gives off the good vibes. We're hearing about a relationship that doesn't sound as if there are any lingering dark or seeded clouds hovering around it. It could be a relationship that's still being defined or one that has mostly had its salvo and is now something else entirely. Taylor sings, "Sometimes she'll come looking for me/Nothin' to see/She still cares," hinting that there is something still there, that the connection can never be severed, nor would either want it to be. He sings, "It's still on/It's always on."
There's an image of a boat and we picture it tied to the end of a slanted and creaking old dock, on a quiet lake - a vessel that had been taken for a trip, but now rests there, bobbing on the undulating water, not to be used again. It's still in great shape. There's been maintenance done to it to keep it seaworthy, but it will stay there, right where it is. The tantalizing part about the boat is that it can be seen from a couple different parts of the house, out of the big picture windows. The boat always looks as if it's aching or begging. This is just the introduction that the song gives and then it locks a steely gaze upon us. It starts to make us feel those currents below the surface, while still diverting most of our attention back to those better images and the waters that the boat remembers best. The waters are absolutely rockier though and there's no denying that things are complicated.
There's real hurt and longing. The boat looks good from afar, but is far from good. It's been patched and put in the corner, but could use some tender loving care, though it will likely never get any. The feeling, as Taylor describes it throughout this record, is one of trying to keep a brave face in spite of a leaky heart. It's a bit like wanting only to cry in rainstorms because then the wetness on the face can be ignored, or written off as something that has nothing to do with tears at all. Taylor and his talented band have woven together these strands of lovely remembrance or state of emotion with a deliriousness and intermittent blizzards of wonderful experimentation and freakout that tie it all together to make an honest representation of the way that we get to feeling when love overwhelms us. At the center of it all is a simple thought that reminds us of the refrain from the old song when it's softly sung, "I keep holding on. I keep holding on."