Listeners may notice something special & different: rich harmonies, music that breathes, with unexpected twists & imagination - a sophisticated timelessness. It’s the sound of an outfit that might be assumed to’ve been performing together for years or decades. If so, one might be surprised to discover they are all in their early 20s & their five-track EP, ”With Emperor Antarctica”, is their début release.
As soon as they produced their first sounds together, people started taking note. The band’s début single - the jaunty & rollicking, “Mexican Mavis” - acts as the centrepiece on ”With Emperor Antarctica” & was immediately championed by iTunes, as single of the week.
It also instantly brought band members to the attention of visiting international contemporary folk stars Marcus Mumford [of Mumford & Sons] and Laura Marling, the latter inviting Boy & Bear to tour with her through the UK.
An incredible honour and achievement for a young band with a solitary single to its name thus far, but all the excitement and anticipation swirling around Boy & Bear will begin to make sense once you hear their brilliant debut EP, With Emperor Antarctica.
Rooted in the complex and beautiful traditions of modern folk, the five tracks Boy & Bear present on With Emperor Antarctica are as understated and sparse as they are epic and breathtaking.
Part of the Boy & Bear’s gift can be explained in the unique manner they came together. Three of the members were actually the frontmen of their own outfits, lead vocalists and primary songwriters in separate bands, before jointly realising their true destiny lay in pooling their considerable individual talents.
Once all five members had bonded, their range of influences spanned from a shared love of modern folk and harmonising, with a soft spot for the likes of modern legends like Paul Simon and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, through to the more contemporary sounds of artists such as The Mars Volta and Ryan Adams.
Added to this is a sense of adventure, of musical exploration and experimentation. “We want to push boundaries,” says Dave Hosking. “Some times it’s dangerous but that’s the way we want to do it and that’s what we enjoy doing. As natural as it is, I think it’s taken years of finding out what we think works and what we think doesn’t work.”
With Emperor Antarctica was recorded over 10 days at 301 Studios in Byron Bay and produced by Rick Will. “Definitely by the end of it, we were pretty emotionally drained,” admits Hosking.
The result is an extraordinary debut effort from a gifted new Australian outfit. It’s music that makes your chest swell from a group of players exhibiting a maturity beyond their years and experience.
With Emperor Antarctica is the debut five-track EP from Sydney’s Boy & Bear and there is no doubt it is the first of a lot of special music to come.
2010 triple j Unearthed Artist Of The Year
2011 Australian Rolling Stone - Artist To Watch
Sites: MusicBrainz, Wikipedia & mySpace.com/BoyAndBearMusic (official).
Edited by IRONICtypo on 15 Mar 2011, 21:35
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