Grizzly Bear drummer Christopher Bear has announced his first solo release under the name Fools. It's called Fools' Harp Vol. 1 and it comes out May 18 via Music From Memory. Chris writes:

Strange times to be announcing more music releases, but happy to see this making it’s way out into the world.

When I set out to start making this collection of music last summer, the intention was simple and open ended... to make a bunch of instrumental explorations, follow intuitions, and see what might take shape. The world was in a very different place, but some of the meditative and self-reflective qualities I found in making the music feel especially relevant today as I find myself seeking comfort in briefly transporting to another world during these unknown times. After a few weeks of musical excavation, a loose sonic thread started to form and I wound up dubbing a few cassettes to send to a couple friends and labels. I figured I'd wind up printing a few more tape copies and putting them up on Bandcamp, but was delighted and flattered to hear back from [Music From Memory] with an interest in putting out the release. I have been a longtime fan of their deep and inspiring catalogue, so much gratitude to Jamie & Tako for including me... I am truly honored. 😊

Also very stoked on the usage of [Matthew Palladino's] magical artwork. Thank you Matthew!

The label also adds:

Music From Memory are delighted to present Fools’ debut album ‘Fools’ Harp Vol. I’ and the first solo release of American musician Christopher Bear. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist of cult Indie band ’Grizzly Bear’, ‘Fools’ is a pseudonym that Christopher has been using while working on his independent music making for some time now.

Often finding the structure and form of a more traditional ‘song’ and the concept of an album too restrictive, Christopher finally set aside a six week period in the summer of 2019 to explore the possibilities of jamming alone and seeing where it took him: recording each instrument himself and then responding through improvisation to his own recordings, Whilst doing most of the recording in a digital set up, he also set out to capture some of the same mental and sonic space from his time recording on 4-track.

The results of these Fools’ sessions, he explains, feel “almost more like a mixtape than an ‘album’ perse” to him. With a sense of the dichotomy between nostalgia and the future, ‘Fools’ Harp Vol. I’ seeks to transport the listener to a world both familiar and comforting, exploring something undiscovered while maintaining a deep sense of openness and curiosity. The album will be released in vinyl and digital formats with a cassette release to follow including additional bonus tracks.

Along with the announcement, Chris released two and a half minute snippets of every song on the album, which you can listen to at Music From Memory's website. You can also listen to one of the full songs below.

Chris also released a cover of Carla Bley's "Ida Lupino" on April Fool's Day, and you can listen to that below as well. Here's what he said about that one:

Though the light hearted feeling of April Fools isn’t quite the same this year, it seemed like an appropriate day to share this cover tune I made under my “Fools” pseudonym. As my family started our quarantine three weeks ago, routines/priorities/energies shifted a bit, as it has for most everyone, but I still found myself eager to spend time in the studio, maybe even more so and with more of an urgency to make something and put it out into the ether. Every time I sat down at the wurli, I kept gravitating towards something that felt loosely related to ‘Ida Lupino’, a beautiful song written by Carla Bley and first recorded by her husband at the time, Paul Bley. It’s a tune I’ve loved for a long time and frequently played with Assembly, a trio with [Aaron Arntz] and [Benjamin Campbell]. I love how it manages to feel simultaneously somber and solemn yet warm, optimistic and joyful. There is a mantra quality to the chords and melody and I’ve found solace in that amidst these crazy times.
Please enjoy! Stay safe and sane!

a1 Rintocco
a2 Source
a3 Aeg Old
a4 Deefyfe
a5 Snodae
b1 Metaqua
b2 Nnuunn
b3 Terz
b4 Dolpherde

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