Something crazy happened yesterday. Sounds Good To Me Too, a great music blog that I've been following for a while, featured little LOOSE L!PS on their A-Z guide to their favorite music blogs. I can’t believe I was included. Especially considering I was (apparently—this was all unbeknownst to me) battling against the stellar Listen Before You Buy, a blog that I not only read regularly but also respect immensely. (Also a blog that you should all go check out immediately.) This was the first big sort of formal recognition my blog has received, and I would like to take a quick moment to just say THANK YOU. Everyone. Now enough self-indulgence, on to the music.
Being hailed as Australia’s answer to Fleet Foxes, Boy & Bear are a 5-piece ensemble that remind me a lot of every other stellar new folk-rock band out there, but in the best way possible. It’s true, vocalist Dave Hosking sounds strikingly similar to Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, but stylistically, Boy & Bear’s music reminds me much more of Local Natives or the Shins circa (the brilliant) Chutes Too Narrow. While they too are fond of multiple-part vocal harmonies, unlike Fleet Foxes I would be hesitant to label them as ‘baroque,’ what with their tendency towards upbeat, urgent lyrics and twangy guitar solos. No, this isn’t Baroque, it’s pure Americana…which is quite ironic considering they hail from the land down under. Somehow they’ve managed to take one of America’s few genre claims—folk rock—and do it better. Take for example the magnificent Blood To Gold. This sounds like music made out in the middle of the Texas planes, not by 5 dudes from Sydney. Blood to Gold is decidedly western; the syncopated rhythms, runaway lyrical themes, and explosive guitars plow through the song’s (criminally short) 2 minutes like a steam engine. The repetitive guitar solo only helps to further the locomotive-like feel of the song, before it finally settles in gentle ‘oohs,’ albeit all too soon.
Boy & Bear will be playing at this year's SXSW, so Texas (and everyone else who might be in Austin), be SURE to go check them out!
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Blood to Gold--Boy & Bear