Grizzly Bear was originally the solo project of Edward Droste (vocals/guitar/omnichord/autoharp), who recorded his debut album Horn Of Plenty at home. The record was originally meant for his friends, but it eventually circulated and got a proper release in 2004, this time with the help of Chris Bear (drums/vocals). A re-release with a bonus disc of remixes was issued in 2005.
2005 also saw the addition of the two other band members, Chris Taylor (7) (woodwinds/electronics/engineering/production) and Daniel Rossen (vocals/guitar). Playing as a four piece allowed the complexity of sound that was recorded on Horn of Plenty to be played live. The band toured throughout the year, playing songs off the first album as well as some of the new songs they were collectively writing that would make up Yellow House, their first release as a four piece, in 2006. A year later, the Friend EP, which featured cameos from Beirut, Atlas Sound, CSS and Band of Horses, arrived.
For 2009's elaborate album Veckatimest, the band collaborated with contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly, Beach House's Victoria Legrand, the Acme String Quartet and the Brooklyn Youth Choir. The album was a resounding success for the band, debuting at number eight on the Billboard 200 and making the band a ubiquitous entry on critical year-end lists. After a long break from touring Veckatimest, the band followed up three years later with it's 2012 release of Shields.