Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Bella and The Bear

If you casually scan down Bella and The Bear's Facebook you'll see them modestly proclaim that they're 'really proud of this wee chapter' - if you listen to this delightfully well crafted EP which was produced by SAY Award nominated Hector Bizerk drummer Audrey Tait you'll be enchanted by this 'wee chapter' called A Girl Called Bella.

The Bizerk influences are there with hip hop-esque interjections making a track like Skeleton with Lauren Gilmour's sometime tender, some time soaring vocal breaking into spoken word making this lyrically clever almost folky track very special.

Magaluf on the other hand jazzes things up with an interesting vocal counterpoint between Lauren and fellow duetist Stuart Ramage. It's choppy and interesting from this Scottish SAMA Best Newcomer nominated pairing. Initially formed in 2014 Bella and The Bear are very quickly making a serious impact on the Scottish musical firmament with a CalMac Award for Best New Act and some truly impactive performances at HebCelt, Wickerman and Doune The Rabbit Hole.

Little Boat has a more introspective, soul searching feel with more spoken word from Gilmour and in Passenger they intertwine as Bella and The Bear giving us a very personal and comforting slice of musical bliss. Paper Planes on the other hand is for me the highlight of the five tracks, breaking from emotive vocal to intense spoken word and a perfectly fitting instrumental backdrop. Strong songwriting, well matched vocals and distinctive personality...what's not to like.

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