Bear’s Den “First Loves” EP

 Communion Records, 2023

Four track EP of unrequited love songs.

Having had their profile raised when their song ‘All That You Are‘ from their recent LP ‘Blue Hours‘ featured in a recent episode of ‘Ted Lasso’ (with a subsequent surge in streams on online platforms), Bear’s Den return to the EP format on this four-song outing.

As the title suggests, there’s a slight theme here with three of the songs referencing women (Evelyn, Helen and Ava) in their titles but our unlucky suitor is not particularly successful. ‘Evelyn’ is unattainable (“Our relationship was strictly platonic if platonic means I was madly in love with you but part of you was oblivious”), ‘Helen Of Hammersmith Bridge’ finds the singer pleading for an acknowledgement as he pledges to do anything for her including laying down his life while on ‘Teach Me Ava’ the listener is subjected to a weary repetition of the words “You are all there is“. Finally, in ‘Summer and Smoke’, our desperate Romeo is reduced to repeatedly singing ‘I Need You’ to the unnamed muse (the song apparently inspired by a Tennessee Williams play).

The duo (Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones) dress these songs in melancholic arrangements with weeping strings although on the opening ‘Evelyn’ they do try to inject some verve. Overall this is sadly like listening to an adolescent trying his hand at romantic poetry and setting his words to bland Simon & Garfunkel-like arrangements.

5/10
5/10

About Paul Kerr 438 Articles
Still searching for the Holy Grail, a 10/10 album, so keep sending them in.
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