Harmony is a kind of optimism, expressed in the belief that several voices can do a job better than one. That's partly why Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest (named after an uninhabited 16-acre island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts) is a lock to be the sunniest album of the year. All four members sing equally well, and when they weave their high, sweet voices around the others' sometimes in brief and surprising swells, sometimes for the length of entire songs you can actually hear their faith in one another. It's adorable. (Watch TIME's video about Grizzly Bear's new album.)
Of course, adorable works for kittens and the Jonas Brothers, but for a Brooklyn-based indie-rock band that's toured with Radiohead and whose album is being heavily hyped as a breakthrough, it's a mixed blessing. On the plus side, Grizzly Bear's songs are never less than pretty, and occasionally they are breathtaking. "Two Weeks" opens with what sounds like a child banging on a piano in search of a tune until the whole band mews, "Oh-wa-oh-wa-oooooooo," lifting a melody out of the muck and into the stratosphere, where lead singer Ed Droste asks, "Would you always, maybe sometimes/ Make it easy." It's the sweetest way imaginable to ask someone to chill. "Fine for Now" meanders through all sorts of paces and styles, from a cappella church music to jazz, before settling its focus on a mildly psychedelic cymbal that crashes like the gentlest of waves.
You can hear the Beach Boys in Veckatimest's harmonies and The Band in the general spirit of craftsmanship and fraternity. But over the course of 52 minutes, you also hear what's missing: tension. Even though there are flashes of experimentation (NYU-educated, these boys have admirably eclectic taste in instruments) and plenty of minor chords, Grizzly Bear's politeness is a little oppressive. Without a hint of vocal darkness or a sudden stab of musical chaos, the lyrics gradually dissolve into a series of gumdrops, and the falsetto harmonies lose some of their charm; at its lowest, Veckatimest sounds like an album recorded by castrati at a beach house. So maybe it's not a breakout. But its charms are well suited to the fat summer days ahead.