Following on from the announcement of their highly-anticipated new album 'Blue Hours', set for release on May 13th via Communion Records, folk-rock duo Bear's Den - made up of Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones - have now returned to deliver the full-length's powerful title-track.
With the pair's previously unveiled offerings 'All That You Are', 'Spiders' and 'Shadows' continuing their raw and organic routes, the new single 'Blue Hours' sees them adopt a more electronic bed, delivering one of the record's more anthemic cuts. With its driven pace and euphoric textures, their newest effort marks a vibrant moment within their repertoire to date, and gives us a clearer indication of what to expect on this new album. Accompanying the new single is a captivating video created by illustrator and animator Ryan Anderson in his unique visual style.
Speaking about the new single, Davie said, "Fundamentally 'Blue Hours' is a song about communicating with someone that's hard to reach. It's this idea of trying to have a conversation with someone through one-way glass, where they can't even see you and there's a real disconnect with how you're communicating. On one level, it's also an internal thing, where you're trying to get through to yourself.
"I think the act of writing songs, or even trying to write anything, is the act of trying to communicate, so I think there’s something in that which is interesting."
Watch the video for 'Blue Hours' - BELOW:
Produced by regular collaborator Ian Grimble, themes on the new album 'Blue Hours' include both self-reflection and mental health after both struggled with the latter in recent years. "It's the main overarching theme with this record," Davie explains. The group, who has worked with mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) previously added: "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."
Adding about the new album, Davie says: "Blue Hours is a kind of imaginary space you get into at night, a place where you process difficult things or where you try to figure everything out."
The pair describe the conceptual blue hours headspace that gives the new album its title as being "somewhere between a hotel, a mental health hospital, a bar that stays open later than anywhere else, a paradise, a dream, a nightmare and an endless sea of corridors and staircases leading you to rooms that represent memories - good, bad, happy or difficult.”
Despite the album's challenging themes, it's an album drenched in hope too. "We wanted this to be a celebration of music," Jones continues. "I think that informed some of the bolder decision making on this record. At a time when music was so distant, it felt important to make an album that sounded hopeful, celebratory, ambitious and beautiful in spite of the heavy subject matter in some of the songs." Jones adds: "It was almost like we needed to shout louder than before because we felt that there were more barriers between the audience and us. We needed something to transcend that."
Bear's Den recently unveiled the poignant and moving short film 'Spiders & Shadows', which combines the visuals from their two recent singles. Created by accomplished animator Mawrgan Shaw, the two original videos have been brought together into one beautiful composition to really encapsulate and bring to life some of the core themes of their forthcoming album and features over 5000 digitally hand-drawn and animated images. While 'Spiders' focused on the male character's struggle with depression, 'Shadows' turns to what his female counterpart is experiencing as she tries to comfort him throughout his ordeal. Watch 'Spiders & Shadows' HERE
Bear's Den will be hosting a series of in-store events across the UK from May 13th-17th, where fans can see exclusive stripped back acoustic performances of the new record and some old favourites!
Fri 13th May - Rough Trade East, London, 7 pm
Sat 14th May - Vinilo, Southampton, out-store at 1865, 7 pm
Sun 15th May - Truck, Oxford, 2 pm
Sun 15th May PM - Sound Knowledge, Marlborough, out-store at Royal Oak, 7.30 pm
Tues 17th May - Rough Trade, Bristol, 12.30 pm
The group has also recently announced details of a full UK, Europe and North America 2022 tour, with tickets available to purchase now from https://www.bearsdenmusic.co.uk/live - including a newly added second date at Brussels Ancienne Belgique on May 10th.
The full list of dates are:
23rd April - Oslo - Parkteatret
24th April - Stockholm - Debaser
26th April - Copenhagen - Studie 2
28th April – Berlin - Astra
29th April - Hamburg - Fabrik
1st May - Amsterdam - Paradiso
2nd May - Amsterdam - Paradiso
5th May - Zurich - Kaufleuten
7th May - Cologne - Carlswerk Victoria
9th May - Brussels - Ancienne Belgique *Last tickets
10th May - Brussels - Ancienne Belgique **extra date
17th May - Bristol - O2 Academy
18th May - London - Eventim Apollo
21st May - Dublin - Olympia
22nd May - Manchester - Albert Hall
23rd May - Glasgow - O2 Academy
25th May - Newcastle - Newcastle University
26th May - Birmingham - O2 Institute
27th May - Leeds - Leeds University Stylus
8th Sept - Dallas, TX - The Studio at The Factory
9th Sept - Austin, TX - Emo's
11th Sep - Nashville, TN - The Basement East
12th Sept - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
14th Sept - Ardmore, PA - Ardmore Music Hall
15th Sept - New York, NY - Webster Hall
16th Sept - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
17th Sept - Boston, MA - Royale
20th Sept - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
21st Sept - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
23rd Sept - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
24th Sept - Iowa City, IA - The Englert Theatre
25th Sept - Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads Saloon
27th Sep - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
28th Sept - Salt Lake City, UT - The Commonwealth Room
30th Sept - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre
1st Oct - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
3rd Oct - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
5th Oct - Felton, CA - Felton Music Hall
6th Oct - San Francisco, CA - August Hall
8th Oct - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
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