Grizzly Bear introduced their inscrutable new seven-minute video as “a very special holiday message from us 2 u.” To be clear, this is “special” as in we have no clue what’s supposed to be going on here, not “special” as in, gee, thanks, a Red Ryder BB Gun. But it’s special, all right: Hear SPIN’s No. 17 Album of the Year‘s songs “Half Gate,” “Sleeping Ute,” and “The Hunt,” arranged mostly for solo piano that’s somewhere between vintage New Age infomercials and A Charlie Brown Christmas, plus occasional touches of honking saxamophone, jazzy drums, and ululating opera vox. The visual accompaniment spans from gloriously cheesy images of the planet Earth to gloriously cheesy images of dogs playing poker to gloriously cheesy images of logs burning on a fire.
In a series of tweets, Grizzly Bear’s Edward Droste explains the band is “just taking the piss out of ourselves! No reason to think too much about it. We did it while rehearsing, and when we go stir crazy, we start making mock versions of our songs.” It’s still a Festivus miracle.