Saturday, July 30, 2016
Album Review :: Bear's Den - Red Earth & Pouring Rain
Red Earth & Pouring Rain
July 22 2016 (Communion)
Words: Alison Mack
'Auld Wives', the first single from the new album by Bear's Den, indicated that they were heading skywards in the field of poignant lyrics and perfectly constructed Nu-folk melodies.
The personal and emotive lyrics are described by lead vocalist Andrew Davie (the Den now pared down to a duo, with Kev Jones: “Where my grandparents live in Scotland, and where my mum grew up, there’s this cottage I used to go to write. Nearby there’s three rocks called the Auld Wives Lifts. No one knows how they got there, and there are faces carved into the rocks. There’s all sorts of folk tales around them, that have stayed with me growing up. The song is about my granddad who lived near there. He developed Alzheimer’s in his old age. Knowing someone, and them not knowing you any more, is a difficult thing to go through. Auld Wives became this way of talking about it, of venting about that feeling, and make more sense to me.”
This ambitious and superbly polished collection that makes for their second full-length after their 'Islands' debut two years ago, is no let-down. The title track, which delves into lost love territory, is poetic and compelling: "Can’t you hear in the silence/Can’t you hear me calling out your name/I’ve got something burning, coursing through these cold veins". While 'Emeralds', 'Dew On The Vine' and 'Roses On A Breeze' are as aurally fragrant as they sound, layered with the basic structure of alt-folk, yet constructed so well with electric utilisation.
While 'Red Earth & Pouring Rain' may not be the pinnacle of Bear's Den's career, it does leave you with a yearning for what they may bring to their third album.