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We haven't been shy about our love for the UK, folk-ish trio Bear's Den over the years. We first met the band three years ago when they swung by to do a stripped down session of a few songs from their debut EP, Agape, on our back patio. A year later, the band was kind enough to give one of our first Bands + Brews a go with songs from their proper, full-length debut Islands.

We're not going to lie...we were a little worried when the band announced that founding member Joey Haynes was departing the group earlier this year. But as the weather warmed, the band started teasing songs from their new album, Red Earth & Pouring Rain; an album that makes it clear that the two remaining members, Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones, had thought long and hard about the loss of member and made the deliberate decision to carry on in a whole new way. Built upon swaths of glassy synth work, driving programming and drums, and flashes of bright electric guitar that travel across the compositions like passing head lights lighting up a dark room, Red Earth is a bit of a shocker upon first listen.

But as Jones told us back in July, "the DNA of the band is still the same, the songwriting is generally speaking the same." And when the band swung by Baeble HQ for a third session of songs from the album, they proved it, returning to a familiar, acoustic alignment to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same. There are still emotional, acoustic roots at the heart of new songs like "Red Earth & Pouring Rain", "Dew on the Vine", and "Gabriel". In town for a pair of shows at Rough Trade Records in Williamsburg, Kev and Davie also elaborated more on the creative shift and what it's meant for the band moving forward. "Playing live, it's just really exciting," Davie told us. "Plus when you're on stage as a six piece it feels pretty bad ass". Also bad ass? Breaking that sound down into these drop dead gorgeous presentations. Have a look and listen.

Transcript

- So we're playing Rough Trade tomorrow, which we're really excited about.
We're playing two shows there, and...pretty cool. Apparently there's great pizza around the corner from where we're playing, so we're pretty excited in general.
- I think playing live feels, like, it's just really exciting.
Personally, like, when you're just on stage with six, like, as a six-piece, it feels pretty badass.
- There's a lot going on, there's a lot of lads everywhere.
- Yeah, exactly.
And people like, going from, like, playing drums one second to playing horns the next.
Playing synth one second, playing horns the next.
It's like...yeah, there's always something to think about.
Can't you hear it in the silence? Can't you hear me calling out your name?
I got something burning, Coursing through these cold veins
In the words we speak, babe, Somehow I get lost in between
Whether to suffer in silence, or break It all with each breath that we breathe
I don't wanna break it off, Or break it all,
But I can't let it be I don't wanna be the one to call it out,
Love, But it's all I can see.
Remember where we found love? No one could ever take that away
Remember what we found In the red earth and the pouring rain?
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember, love?
I was waiting for a call, A call never came
So I made my own way, Now I can't find my way back home again
I was stranded in the darkness, Begging, "Please don't pin all of your
Dreams on me Baby, you can count on me,
You count on me To fuck up everything."
Been running forever, love, Forever, love,
I've been running away I forget what I'm running from,
It still scares me today
What I found in you, love, No one can ever take that away
It was something forever In the red earth and the pouring rain
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love,
In the red earth and the pouring rain.
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love.
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love
It's just you and I, love
Don't you remember, love? Don't you remember, love?
Don't you remember anything? It's just you and I, love,
In the red earth and the pouring rain.
- The album is called Red Earth & Pouring Rain.
- We put ourselves under, like, quite a lot of pressure when it comes to making albums and sort of writing songs, but it's when you start worrying too much and start thinking too much about what, you know, other people might think of it, that it might mess it up.
So, I think just try and follow what feels right to us when we go in the studio is kind of the main thing.
- We knew what we wanted the record to feel like, so it was more a question of, like, how do we make it feel like that? How do we make it feel nostalgic? How do we make it feel like you're sort of on a road trip, like, driving through the night, listening to the record? - We've talked about it.
It's like, when you're making albums, you should be a little bit afraid and excited about what people think of it, because you should be challenging yourself to do something different and sort of brave, or whatever.
In our heads, it's like, rather than go out there and make the album that people might want you to make, it's like, make the album that people didn't realize they wanted or something, was the idea in our heads.
Just try and do something that's a bit out there, and push ourselves into weird, sort of, new musical styles and stuff and try it out.
It's so much fun.
- We definitely got a bit geeky about synthesizers.
I think there must've been a moment where we went, "Those are really cool.
We don't know anything about them, so let's try and learn about those.
" But everyone is really sort of, you know, acknowledging the fact that it's different, but it still sort of sounds like us, and still has those core elements, whatever they are.
Sometimes I don't know if we know, but... - Yeah, exactly.
- So, it's just been really positive across the board, really.
It's great.
Born to break or to last, is it all in the past?
Is that a scar or a birthmark? Retracing his cold heart,
Now I'm all out of thread
And I don't want to die here
I'm chasing echoes in my mind Babe, it's a fine line,
And I'm so far over it,
And I know it
Beneath it all, It's still broken
Cut me out, Cut it open
I can't do it anymore.
I can't do it
I don't pay any mind To the dew upon the vine
Does that mean that it's not there If I can see it at all?
Though the morning light'll burn away All the fog the night creates
There'll still be a trace Of our love left behind
In the dew upon the vine
And where to go or to hide? Your only words are all lies,
Confiding in your own mind, Caught in the cold light
I thought you were better, man I thought you were better, man
Slip step on a tightrope Freaked out by a false hope
That things could be all right.
Well, no, they are not all right
But I don't pay any mind To the dew upon the vine
Does that mean that it's not there If I can see it at all?
Though the morning light'll burn away all the fog the night creates
There'll still be a trace of our love left behind
In the dew upon the vine
Well, I can't tame my heart
It's like lightning trying To put out a spark
No, I can't tame my heart
You're like lightning trying To put out the spark
I never paid any mind To the dew upon the vine
Does that mean that it's not there If I can see it at all?
Though the morning light'll burn away All the fog the night creates
There'll still be a trace Of our love left behind
And the driving rain will wash away all The frightened fires I could not tame
There'll still be a trace Of our love left behind
In the dew upon the vine
- I was reading this thing that's like, the other day, and it's really interesting, and it said, like, "The worst form of plagiarism is plagiarizing yourself," and I thought that was a really interesting thing to say.
And it was like, the worst thing you can do is just go back in, and think you've got a formula for how you make music, and go like, "This is how we do it.
" And the best thing I think you can do as a band is just embrace new stuff.
Try out different You know, just push yourself to be better musicians, better songwriters, and kind of mess with formulas.
You know, if you find yourself sticking to a formula, mess with it, you know, break it and then see what happens, and see what you're at.
But yeah, it's cool.
It's cool though, with, like, I think we're always still trying to, like, figure out new ways of playing songs and stuff like that.
When you do it like that, it's just, like, opens up a door to it that you didn't know existed before.
- So covering your own song, basically.
- It's way cool.
Plagiarizing it.
- Yeah, exactly.
- Totally.
- Ooh.
- Oh, gosh.
- Maybe we should start doing that.
- We should, like, backpedal.
One, two, three, four.
It's a part of me, Gabriel, I wish I could deny
A face that I can barely recognize
He lives inside of me, Every day of my life
And I can hear him Screamin' in the night
It's just a shadow Cast from all the light
Wherever I go He's never far behind
And in the darkness, I lose him every time
In the dark, The two of us combine
Is this all I am? All I ever was?
All that he's won Is all that I have lost
Won't you hear me out, Gabriel? Can't you see the shape I'm in?
Just don't leave me alone.
Just don't leave me alone
It's a part of me, Gabriel, A stranger in the night
And all I have done, Will I ever reconcile?
It's not just a shadow, But a life I left behind
The person I am, Yet most despise
Well, is this all I am? All I ever was?
All that he has won Is all that I have lost
Won't you hear me out, Gabriel? Can't you see the shape I'm in?
Just don't leave me alone.
Just don't leave me alone
Is this all I am? and all I ever was?
All that he has won Is all that I have lost
Won't you hear me out, Gabriel? Can't you see the shape I'm in?
Just don't leave me alone Just don't leave me alone
- "Gabriel," to me, is about people around you, that, like, are your closest friends, and people who know you better than you know yourself.
How can you describe all those people with one name? And it was like, "Well, how would you describe how those people feel to you?" It's like, they're someone, they're like a messenger from God, or something.
Gabriel.
And then you go, like, you know...and I'm not even a religious person, but it's just like, that name seems to sum it up, so.
- It was "Steve," to start with.
- Yeah, his name was actually, yeah, Steve.
- It just didn't quite have the same ring.
- Yeah, Steve.
I was like, yeah.
It was originally "Dave.
" But yeah, it just didn't... was originally "Slau.
" - "Slau.
" - Yeah.
Which one am I looking at? - Bottom bit.
Yeah, I realize how strange I am whenever I talk about anything.
really good answer.
- We are so hanging out tomorrow, it's not even... - Have beers and everything, like.
- We're going to have all the beers tomorrow.
It's non-negotiable.
Sorry, it was... Thank you for watching our session. Oh, God. I just... - Hello, we're Bears Den.
I thought you were going to do the second bit.
- And you're watching Baeble Music.
Froze.
Hey, we're Bears Den.
- And you're watching Baeble Music.
Won't you let me out? Won't you let me out?
No, I tried so hard
Don't lead me away, no.
We've come so far
Are you there at all? Are you there at all?
Won't you break my fall?

Artist Bio

Bear's Den are London trio Andrew Davie, Joey Haynes, and Kevin Jones. The music they make is wholesome, warm, and engaging, and takes its influence from the likes of Being There era Wilco, Ryan Adams, and a wealth of both folk and alt-country reference points.

The ethos of DIY is at the heart of everything Bear's Den have done since their inception. Charging around the UK in a van playing to any venue that would have them, picking up support tours with the likes of Of Men And Monsters, Smoke Fairies, and Matt Corby, and concluding 2012 with a support slot for Mumford and Sons at London's O2 Arena, Bear's Den took time out and relocated to a cottage in Wales to record their debut EP, sold only at shows last year, and went on to record this Agape EP in Norfolk with Kristoffer Harris.

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