Review: Daniel Rossen’s “Silent Hour / Golden Mile”

photo by Amelia Bauer

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Daniel Rossen
Silent Hour/Golden Mile
Warp Records

Los Angeles-born, Brooklyn-based Daniel Rossen is most commonly known as part of the harmonizing, alternatively morose and pop-y indie quartet Grizzly Bear, whose latest album Veckatimest (2009) was almost universally hailed as a ridiculous success. A self-described recluse, Rossen has admitted that he never shared his own music much beyond a close circle of friends before joining Grizzly Bear. Regardless, after having a good amount of time to hibernate after Veckatimest‘s debut, this week Rossen is releasing Silent Hour / Golden Mile, his first solo record to date.

Clocking in at a mere five tracks, the album is a tiny but satisfying taste of the distinctively Rossen side of Grizzly Bear’s creative efforts. In contrast to the band’s typical song progression of meandering vocals building up to a mid-song crash into a rhythmic, explosive chorus, Silent Hour / Golden Mile features Rossen singing solo, mostly to the accompaniment of his jangly, almost bluesy sounding guitar. The effect is more simplicity and looseness than we’re used to seeing from the young front man.

Highlights include “Silent Song,” the slamming, echoey second track, and “Golden Mile,” the finale—which alternates between roughly rhythmic and quietly gentle, and repeats the lullabyish lyrics “another silent hour / another golden mile” over a lightly crooning vocal track. Not to say there aren’t the expected dips into the morose—the heavily piano-laden “St Nothing” is not for the delicately disposed, and it’s probably the weakest point in an otherwise consistently good album. 

Though hardcore Grizzly Bear fanatics may be hoping for something less sparse than Silent Hour / Golden Mile, the album’s overall effect is undeniably pleasing. Because it’s so short, and because Rossen is so reticent, it’s almost as if he’s allowed you to crash at his apartment for a night, slightly reluctant but secretly glad for a little company.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate