Single Review: Bear’s Den – Sahara

By on Monday, 21st October 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

London-based Bear’s Den have had a very busy 2013, and they appear set to finish the year on a strong note.  After selling out a UK tour in February, they spent the summer playing festivals, then released their highly acclaimed EP ‘Agape’.  On the strength of that effort, they joined Mumford and Sons for the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover tour before supporting Daughter’s early autumn American tour.  Now nearing the end of a string of Australian dates, Bear’s Den will release their new EP ‘Without/Within’ next Monday (the 28th of October).

The EP’s first single, ‘Sahara’, is a continuously expansive 6-minute track in which Bear’s Den display a talent for setting a mood before delving into the song’s deeper emotional content.  The first 2 and a half minutes of the song are effectively a slow intro, with instruments and voices being added one by one, gradually building dynamic and emotional tension.  The lyrics are poignant and incredibly effective in this musical context, especially when Andrew Davie sings, “As the sun beats down hard upon your skin / Yeah, you can feel her now in all that you can go without, within / A flower grows even though nobody asked it to / A bluebird sings and won’t let herself go out of tune”.

Vocal harmonies are added for the first chorus, “All my life, I wasn’t honest enough, and I thought I would never get over you”.  Then the pulsing rhythm section kicks in, along with a driving guitar melody, as the tone of the lyrics changes in the second verse from pensive regret to hard-won triumph.  That uplifted, anthemic feeling carries through to the end of the song, where the brief coda steals a backward glance at the contemplative introduction.

Davie’s voice is smooth and even throughout the song, never allowing his own singing to take precedence over the lyrics, which are clearly the impetus for the song as a whole.  The vocal harmonies provided by band members Joey Haynes (who recently answered editor Mary’s Quickfire Questions here) and Kevin Jones are similarly effective, adding depth to the sound where the lyrics demand it.  This emotional sensitivity, along with strong vocal and instrumental melodies, appeals simultaneously to the ear and to the heart.  And while the song’s title might slip your mind (there is a lyrical reference in the first verse), its emotional lyrics and expansive sound will certainly stay with you.

8/10

‘Without/Within’ is due for release on the 28th of October on Communion Records.  Its first single, ‘Sahara’, can be streamed below, along with ‘Writing on the Wall’, which is being included as a free download with all pre-orders of the EP.

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10 Responses

12:00 pm
21st October 2013

Single Review: Bear’s Den @bearsdenmusic – ‘Sahara’, from the ‘Without/Within’ @CommunionRecords EP out 28th October: http://t.co/AMpZMFFzoL

1:06 pm
21st October 2013

RT @tgtf: Single Review: Bear’s Den @bearsdenmusic – ‘Sahara’, from the ‘Without/Within’ @CommunionRecords EP out 28th October: http://t.co…

2:56 pm
21st October 2013

Single Review: Bear’s Den @bearsdenmusic – ‘Sahara’, from the ‘Without/Within’ @CommunionMusic EP out 28th October: http://t.co/AMpZMFFzoL

3:07 pm
21st October 2013

RT @tgtf: Single Review: Bear’s Den @bearsdenmusic – ‘Sahara’, from the ‘Without/Within’ @CommunionMusic EP out 28th October: http://t.co/A…

11:34 am
23rd October 2013

Great review of the new EP by @bearsdenmusic at http://t.co/bMEoNGbA4i

11:53 am
23rd October 2013

RT @CommunionMusic: Great review of the new EP by @bearsdenmusic at http://t.co/bMEoNGbA4i

1:09 pm
23rd October 2013

RT @CommunionMusic: Great review of the new EP by @bearsdenmusic at http://t.co/bMEoNGbA4i

1:09 pm
23rd October 2013

RT @CommunionMusic: Great review of the new EP by @bearsdenmusic at http://t.co/bMEoNGbA4i

5:27 pm
23rd October 2013

Single Review: Bear’s Den – Sahara http://t.co/xlSQQQVpvy via @tgtf

7:31 pm
23rd October 2013

RT @CommunionMusic: Great review of the new EP by @bearsdenmusic at http://t.co/bMEoNGbA4i

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