Bands We Like: CANT

By Zachary Swickey

When your work is praised by Jay-Z and Trent Reznor, you know you’re onto something special. I’m talking about Brooklyn indie rockers Grizzly Bear, who’ve been charming us with their hypnotizing melodies for many years (they would slay as a barbershop quartet). The group’s last album, Veckatimest, found praise from all sorts of unexpected places, including Hova, who is an enthusiastic fan. After nearly two grueling years on the road, the guys were all ready to take a break. Well, everyone but member Chris Taylor, the group’s bassist and backup vocalist, who wasn’t very keen on the idea of taking time off and instead opted to craft a solo project with his newfound time. The result is CANT, a studio collaboration with George Lewis Jr., who we know and love from ’80s throwback act Twin Shadow.

Taylor first teased his solo abilities two years ago with the release of “Ghosts,” a non-album track, which sounded more like Grizzly Bear than CANT’s current material, but it was the singer’s first venture out on his own (if you don’t count his production duties with groups like Dirty Projectors or The Morning Benders). Taylor and his brothers in Grizzly Bear are critical favorites, but the man is no diva – he didn’t need or demand a fancy schmancy studio to hunker down in for recording, rather a simple big bedroom and vintage Yamaha synthesizers.

Taylor is not one of those artists who has been crafting and hoarding stockpiles of solo tunes since his youth. It’s not that he didn’t try, but he found fully completing a song to be a daunting task that he was never able to complete. With CANT, everything would be a fresh, new experience. In a bit of scratching each other’s back – Taylor produced Twin Shadow’s killer debut, Forget – Lewis worked with Taylor for two weeks on CANT’s debut before Lewis headed out on tour as Twin Shadow. With an impressive 75 percent of the album finished in the short span, Taylor went on to complete the remaining quarter on his own.

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