Eliza & The Bear

This post should have been written a long time ago. It should have been written before we included Brothers Boat on our Songs Of 2012. It should have been written in December when we received a charmingly personal email from Jonathan at Six07, who was representing the band. It should have been written in back in June when we had another lovely email. This time from Paul, who plays in the band. We completely missed that first email, only stumbling across it today when searching the inbox. Such a discovery gives a bit of a sinking feeling. A feeling of missing out somewhat. But what’s done is done, no point crying over spilt milk. Instead we should look forward to February 25th, when Eliza & The Bear are releasing Upon The North/Southern Wild.

Now we are seeing things in a slightly more positive light, we should probably backtrack a little. Eliza & The Bear are a 5 piece from London: James Kellegher, Callie Noakes, Martin Dukelow, Chris Brand, Paul Kevin Jackson. The name is a bit of a mystery. There’s certainly no Eliza present, unless one of the guys have a slightly odd nickname. Eliza and the Bear is the name of a long piece of performance poetry by Eleanor Rees. It’s blurb says: “Rees’s use of fairy stories and night visions radically re-imagines the female experience through the psychic collisions of the body and our desires.” This seems slightly at odds with the uplifting nu-folk of the band. The names are perhaps more coincidence than inspiration.

Eliza & The Bear describe themselves as alt-rock/indie, but our mind there is a definite folk element. Richly textured arrangements, stomping choruses and vocal harmonies all make for some pretty powerful tracks. On the one hand the soaring choruses are reminiscent of Dry The River (they used the same producer). On the other there’s a far earthier and less biblical feel to these guys, both lyrically and sonically.  Brothers Boat is still available for free, you’d be foolish not to grab it HERE. The Southern Wild is uplifting from the off, a good brass section often seems to have the effect. Forget tapping along, this track makes you want to stomp. Upon The North has a similar effect. But it’s choruses seem fuller and more powerful. There’s a consistent quality to the tracks yet enough variety keeps things interesting. That’s no mean feat. 2013 could be a good year for these guys.