Bear’s Den – Blue Hours (Communion Records)
For Blue Hours, their fourth record, UK-based folk band Bear’s Den offers their most personal album yet. Across 10 tracks Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones dig deep into confessional songs about struggles, despair and mental health issues, resulting in their most powerful collection of songs yet.
The opening track, “New Waves,” is a sweet piano backed track offering hints of optimism despite the confessional lyrics about needing help. And the title track is an ‘80s synth throwback musically that offers a relatable narrative about trying to get through to someone who can’t or won’t hear you.
With refreshingly frank honesty, Davie recently described the album’s theme: “It probably speaks to our struggles and hopefully many other people’s too. Men are not very good at talking. We’re not really taught how to – men have no idea how to talk about this stuff, certainly to each other.”
The dreamy “Frightened Whispers,” with a musical kinship to a band like the Postal Service complete with saxophone weaved throughout for a beautiful ethereal vibe, is one of the obvious stand out tracks here. The album closes on the earnest “All The Wrong Places,” a strikingly despondent track that stays with the listener after the record ends. Despite obvious heavy themes throughout the record, there are still plenty of optimistic messages to be found.
The duo worked with longtime producer Ian Grimble again for this one, making for one of their most confident and cohesive albums yet. Bear’s Den has also announced extensive plans for a U.S. tour, their first in a long time, starting in early September.