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.