Release date: September 2012
Shields is the fourth studio album by American indie rock band Grizzly Bear, released on September 18, 2012 on Warp Records. Written and recorded following a six-month hiatus from band activities, the album was produced by bassist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor, and preceded by the singles, "Sleeping Ute" and "Yet Again".
Shields has been described as the band's most collaborative album, with vocalist and guitarist Daniel Rossen noting, "The band's aim was to write and make music that is as collaborative as possible, so that we have a product that we all feel a sense of authorship over as a collective."
Lyrically, Ed Droste described Shields as Grizzly Bear's "most verbose album" yet, saying, "It's funny, because I think back to a song like 'Colorado,' where I was basically singing ten words over and over again for five minutes straight - and that's it. There's nothing on this album like that. There's a lot more there, verbally, and it's definitely emotionally charged."
Regarding the album's thematic content, Daniel Rossen noted, "There's a lot of talk about negotiating distance from people in your life. We were dealing with that in various forms, learning what it means to be alone, learning what it means to be close to somebody, certain things coming to a head. It just feels like a major difficulty in life." Droste elaborated, "There's a desire to be autonomous, but there's also this great fear of being alone, and there's this constant feeling of, 'How do you reconcile this?' There's this need for space, but there's also this, 'Come closer come closer.'"
Shields reached a peak position of #17 on the UK Albums Chart and #7 on the Billboard 200.