Check out the new single from The Bear and The Bison, singer-songwriter Mark W. Lennon’s musical vehicle. ‘Screen Fever’ is catchy, upbeat country rock with twanging guitars and an insistent rhythm. Lennon’s laid-back local over the bright sonic layers makes for a compelling, memorable sound. As the title suggests, ‘Screen Fever’ tackles the issue of smart phones and social media in contemporary culture. Lennon’s smart lyrics reference familiar ideas and popular nostalgia in a way many will recognise and associate with: “Looks like you’ve been thinking them hard thoughts again, my friend // Cycling through life, like playing Tetris in an all night band // Just saw a picture of you from like the 90s, in a parallel world // I’ve been doom scrolling for days, again.” Lennon explains the song’s themes: “‘Screen Fever’ tries to capture that unhealthy connection many people like myself have with our phones and being online, the disconnection it can cause with the people around us is real.” The song is accompanied by a well-edited video, in which people obsessively using phones are contrasted with friends in social situations and others exploring nature and beautiful outdoor locations.
The song is taken from The Bear and The Bison’s self-titled debut album, produced by Lennon himself and mixed by veteran engineer Dean Nelson (Beck). Lennon says of the album: “I wanted to record some of the songs we had written back in California, so they didn’t get lost. Straightforward snapshot country tunes like ‘Train, Train’ and ‘Misery’. There wasn’t really an agenda, just recording at our own pace, when we could. We had some really talented folks contribute to the album and help us develop this unique sound, which we are really grateful for, please give their bands a listen as well.”
Alongside Lennon’s vocals, guitars, banjo, bass, and drums, those musical contributions come from a host of talented players, including Dean Vivirito (Who Can Sleep) on vocals, Harmony Griffin (Uncle Ben’s Remedy, Leroy Townes) on guitars, Patrick Jackson (Folkfaces) on standup bass, Jim Whitford on lap and pedal steel, Jacob Brockway on pedal steel, Charlie Coughlin (The Brothers Blue) on fiddle and Michael Russeck on piano.
The album is available on vinyl and digitally from 13th February 2023 – more info’ here. The Bear and The Bison delivers open-hearted, accessible music we can relate to, bringing a little hope and optimism during challenging times. Enjoy.