Bear's Den

Red Earth & Pouring Rain

Written by: TL on 03/09/2016 18:04:25

Bear's Den are a duo from the UK who, despite achieving commendable success already with their 2014 debut "Islands", has not been heard of much in these parts. They're playing at Pumpehuset in Copenhagen on October 21st, however, and judging from quite a few listens spent on the sophomore "Red Earth & Pouring Rain", one is inclined to understand that booking decision. The band plays a very calm and measured style of soft rock, with touches of folksy horns and drums, as well as new wave synths that bring to mind the likes of Bon Iver or Folly And The Hunter.

As a collection of individual songs, "Red Earth & Pouring Rain" has its drawbacks: Guitarist/singer Andrew Davie's vocal performance is clear and melodious but also a bit on the plain and safe side, and overall the variety displayed across the album's twelve tracks doesn't range too far, which can cause one's attention to drift a bit past the halfway mark. Yet the songs display a firm consistency, progressing through timely changes in nuance and layering, enough so to make the listening experience what it is above else; namely supremely pleasant.

In a coupling like "Broken Parable" and "Fortress" at tracks nine and ten, you can spot some difference in execution, with the former being a bit corny, while the other gets a much more compelling atmosphere going that's a bit reminiscent of Ben Howard's excellent second record "I Forget Where We Were". But mostly the album as a whole is just so nice and cosy to listen to, that you're likely to end up throwing it on for all kinds of occasions. Individually, one might argue that the songs don't burn strongly enough to really make you grow a long lasting memory of them, but tracks like the opener "Red Earth & Pouring Rain" or "Auld Wives" have deceptively infectious qualities that can echo in the consciousness for a good while, giving you that sense of surprise where you remember a track you didn't necessarily think you would.

Summing up, this here's some good, easy-listenable, soft, rock/folk that makes up for its singles maybe not blowing you down on first listen, by being so appealing and pleasant in its overall atmosphere, that the album can serve you for many kinds of listening occasions, while it makes you wonder what the duo will come up with moving forward.


Download: Red Earth And Pouring Rain, Auld Wives, Fortress
For The Fans Of: Bon Iver, Folly And The Hunter, Of Mice And Men

Release date 22.07.2016
Communion Records

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