Album Reviews

Bear’s Den

Red Earth & Pouring Rain

Artist:     Bear's Den

Album:     Red Earth & Pouring Rain

Label:     Communion

Release Date:     07/22/2016

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Bear’s Den continues their singer/songwriter statement under a new synth pop undertow in latest disc Red Earth & Pouring Rain. The folk sound of last year’s Islands is still visible, but shielded behind an electronic overlay. The real champion of this disc is the consistent theme of a search for lost love conveyed through expert lyrics. The upbeat blend creates an interesting space, somewhere in the bittersweet space between nostalgia and loss.

The opening title track is a banger, with love and nostalgia entangled into an upbeat, emotionally stimulating sound. The album title is fulfilled among the lyrics, playing on a particular time and place that jumpstarts a reminiscent sentimentality. “Emeralds” continues with a very similar sound among a heavy pleading and continuous search to find what is lost. “I look for you every nightfall. I search all my dreams. In my mind, you’ll always be shining. An emerald in the moon glow.”

“Dew on the Vine” features the signature cyclical guitar and drum backdrop, along with a catchy chorus that explores reality, imagination, and a leftover trace of past love. “Roses on a Breeze” then enters as a more mellow, downbeat sad song that focuses on the emotions that arise after remembering all the good things. The result is a rip in your heart that will never quite go away. “I don’t want to know. All the fear in my heart, I couldn’t let you see…But you’ll always be the love of my life.”

“New Jerusalem” is an album standout with a soft, intimate outpour, while “Auld Wives” provides a storyline of this constant searching for the past. “I call your name, but you can’t hear me now. Nor you don’t recognize my face. Who are you?” “Fortress” offers a uniquely different sound, featuring fuzzed out guitar reverb serving as an echo of the past. Then, “Napoleon” ends the disc with a cyclical guitar stance, slowly building in layers like a rising sea of emotions that ends with hope. “I threw it all down the wishing well. Don’t throw it all down the wishing well… It’s not too late to mend what we’ve broken.”

-Kalyn Oyer

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