Since the formation of Bear’s Den two years ago, the bearded London based trio have moved from strength to strength after a series of rich and heartfelt E.P. releases. Combined with a punishing live schedule, their efforts have paid off, and an international fan base is eagerly awaiting their debut album ‘Islands’, due in October.
Signed to Communion and part of the Gentlemen of the Road family, the vocal harmonies and alluring banjo lines of Bear’s Den have often led to comparisons with Mumford and Sons who the band supported on tour in 2013. Their sound, however, is far more intimate. This remains true even though the group’s work in the studio has left behind the exclusively acoustic, folk style associated with their first releases. Their recent single ‘Elysium’ is an example of this, beginning gently with guitar and strings before evolving into a brass-powered chorus, bolstered by their usual layers of vocal harmony. In spite of this development and step towards a bigger, more poppy sound, Bear’s Den have succeeded in retaining a real singer-songwriter vibe and intimacy that can often feel more subtle and elegant than stadium style anthems.
The remarkable video for ‘Elysium’ also merits an explanation. Filmed by Marcus Haney, initially the aim had been to capture moments of youthful innocence, rebellion and adventure amongst a group of Seattle teens, one of who was Haney’s brother. When a shooting transformed the lives of the characters however, it seemed certain the project would never be finished. Filming ultimately continued though, and the final product documents a surreal and totally unscripted moment of tragedy. For Bear’s Den, the video has meant the song has evolved into something altogether different from its original form. An astonishing piece of cinematography, ‘Elysium’ is a beautiful track to match it…
Momentum is certainly growing with tickets already sold out for their one off show at the Tabernacle on the 16th October, followed by the release of their debut album, out on 20th October on Communion Records