Themes of escapism, loss and remorse are nothing new when it comes to inspirational album content. Perhaps the relatability and significance to everyday life is what makes these concepts so popular? These are also the common themes that Bear’s Den have pressed forward with for their sophomore effort ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’. However stepping away from the risk of being just another melancholic record, this London-based band have carefully crafted a second album which showcases a euphoric step forward and poignant growth in their musicality. No song on the record is shorter than four minutes. It makes each track reminiscent of a chapter in a book that’s hard not to get engrossed in and fall completely captivated by – especially when vocalist and guitarist Andrew Davie’s lyrics are so vivid in their imagery.
The album’s opener and title track is awakening and uplifting in its sonic construction, marking an ethereal beginning to the start of this story. Proving the song to be a successful example of forlorn lyrical content layered upon a soaring synth-led backing track, the tone in Davie’s vocal is endearing as he asks, “Don’t you remember love?” Moving to ‘Emeralds’, the sophisticated guitars yet pulsing percussion really allows the collective’s triumphant attempts of elated folk rock to shine through.
Every piece of ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’ is so undeniably delicate and intricate, like an antique family heirloom, it even makes you question how hard you hit the play button for fear of damage. But it’s the aforementioned heartfelt lyrics that really make you take care. From “There’ll still be a trace of our love left behind on the dew upon the vine” on ‘Dew On The Vine’ to “You’ll always be the love of my life” on the sonically darker and more brooding ‘Roses On A Breeze’, Davie’s attention to detail paired with his ability to make you feel involved in these heart-wrenching situations is second to none. Undoubtedly this is a record which grips you, taking you on a journey and making you unwittingly invest all of your emotions just from one simple press of a button.
Words: Shannon Cotton
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