Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Bear's Den - Fragments - When You break review

Bear's Den reveal new album "Fragments" | Indie is not a genre

Fan’s of Bear’s Den are no doubt by now accustomed to Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones’ consistent ability to reinvent themselves and twist up their sound in a way that really keeps us on our toes - or in the case of their latest release ‘When You Break - Fragments’ - on the tip of Paul Frith’s dancing violin. 

In their debut album ‘Islands’, they rolled with the folk-rock genre of their EP ‘Agape’ and lead us on an intimate and uplifting journey of acoustic guitars and banjos; topped with some well placed harmonies and delicate, catchy finger-picking, we were all tapping our feet in time to reminiscent thoughts of Mumford and Sons. 

Perhaps in recognition of their Mumford and Sons shaped box, their second album ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’ leaned toward soft-rock and introduced some atmospheric synths that backed long tracks and took us on a truly euphoric experience. Three years later and ‘So That You Might Hear me’ seems to land somewhere between the tone of their previous two albums. It delves deeper into the psyche of the two writers and invites fans to journey further with them into the realm self-reflection and vulnerability. 

It will be interesting to gauge fans' reactions to the almost Coldplay-esque, Viva La Vida vibe that bursts from the dramatic backing of the orchestra in latest release ‘When You Break’. As with the previous two tracks from this EP ‘Fragments’, ‘Fuel On The Fire’ and ‘Napolean’, the duo took help from their good friend Paul Frith to re-imagine segments of their earlier songs into a mixture of intricate and urgent sounding string parts. The strings decorate the texture with a more assertive tone than we would normally expect from the band, intertwining and battling the piano initially before coming together in unison for a dramatic build up. ‘When You Break’ offers much less of its original cathartic feel that had us all looking (rather disconcertingly) deeply into our souls. Instead of sudden and intense feelings of love for your family friends, you might feel more like, say… finally running that marathon you’ve been meaning to get around to. Or re-watching Interstellar. 

In such turbulent times, this could be exactly the kind of mix-up we’ve all been needing to hear. With levels of self-reflection hitting our extremely confining roofs these past few months, I’m sure many of us are thirsting for music that is re-energising more than it is melancholy. Bear’s Den are set to continue with the release of their EP ‘Fragments’ and though it’s possible we’ll see a shift in their demographic towards appreciators of more orchestral, and even classical music, it's worth remembering the bold nature of this move toward an orchestral-pop style. There is no better time for change than now.  

- Katie Drayton

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;