Monday, August 29, 2016

Shining A Light On... Bear's Den

Posted the first of these earlier tonight. Not sure how often I'll do 'em, but given I'm just starting, thought another one right off might not be so bad. Already know for sure who my first four of these are about, anyway. Lead the series with Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt. Now, let me introduce you to Bear's Den.

You really should know Bear's Den.

The UK band's new album Red Earth and Pouring Rain was independently released here in the States a month ago on July 22nd. It brings a slight shift in sound for the band, who lost banjo player and vocalist Joey Haynes earlier this year and are now the duo of Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones. One of the best songs is "Auld Wives", their lead track.

First heard Bear's Den when they released a pair of EPs three years ago, Without/Within and Agape in 2013, soon followed by Islands in 2014, the band's full-length debut. "Agape" from that album and the like-titled EP remains one of my favorite songs of the last five or so years (that's the Greek term for transcendent Love and not the description of a wide-open mouth, by the way... ).

Start with Islands. It's a beautiful album. And if you're taken by it, pick up Red Earth..., but know that things have shifted to include more synth and beats for a less folky sound. Plus, there's less banjo and one less voice, makes it different. Still good, but perhaps a bit smoother and shinier than I liked my Bear's Den.