SINGLE REVIEW: Upon The North (Eliza and the Bear)

18 Jan

Before anyone asks, Eliza and the Bear have taken the precaution of putting in their Twitter bio, ‘no one in this band is called Eliza.’ We’re going to assume that no one in the band is an actual bear either, although that’s possibly more disappointing than the lack of an Eliza.

Eliza and the Bear are a five-piece indie sort of band from London. I say ‘indie sort of’ because they’re one of those who are difficult to pin down and partly because indie is becoming a vague enough term these days that using it doesn’t really give any sort of idea what the music is actually like.

Their upcoming single ‘Upon The North’ – which you can listen to at the bottom of this post – is set to be released on 25 February, as part of a double A-side with their track ‘The Southern Wild’ (click here to watch a YouTube video of the band performing it live).

And it’s worth checking out. I hesitate to make the Mumford & Sons reference – their particular brand of fauxlk-rock is something I don’t hide my distaste of – and yet it’s along those lines, but with more sincerity and charm. While Mumford feel like a gimmick, Eliza and the Bear feel earnest, and there’s just the right amount of yearning in the song to make you lay back and think of wind in trees and walking around outside. You know the sort of thing.

I’ve seen it described as summery and yet it’s more of an autumn to winter song; not cold, but red-nosed and pink eared, kicking leaves about and feeling the sting of fresh air. The jangling guitars and cheerful cymbals have a resonating contrast with the almost reverent lyrics, and the breakdown at the end is definitely worth a mention – the band tread the line well between a big sound and an over the top one, and there’s a definite British take on the feeling of Americana.

They’ve spent summers away, according to the lyrics. But now they’re back, and ready to take you by storm. Just let them.


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