New international sensations from Sydney
When your first EP wins you accolades like Rolling Stone’s Artist To Watch of 2010 and Triple J’s Unearthed Artist of the Year, not to mention wooing fans the world over—including the likes of Laura Marling and Marcus Mumford, no less—there’s only one thing you can do for your debut album: confound expectations. After the phenomenal success of the EP "With Emperor Antarctica"—which transformed the Sydney quintet from promising new comers to bonafide international sensations—a search for new ideas and wisdom led Boy & Bear to American producer Joe Chiccarelli, whose work with acts like My Morning Jacket, The Strokes and The Shins has earned him a reputation as someone who is both sympathetic to a band’s organic sound and able to add another dimension. Holing up with Chiccarelli in Nashville’s world-renowned Blackbird Studios in early 2011, Boy & Bear set about exploding their musical horizons. “We wanted to work with someone who could push us,” says Dave Hosking. “Someone who could take us out of our comfort zone and add a real rock/pop flavor to things. We wanted this to be more than just a ‘new folk’ record, because we really feel like we’ve out-grown that tag.” None of which is to suggest that Boy & Bear have completely abandoned the sound that won them comparisons to Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons, earning them a place as leaders of a new global folk movement. On songs like “House and Farm” and the gorgeous mid-album interlude, “Percy Warner Park”, Boy & Bear deliver aching harmonies and delicate acoustic textures with effortless aplomb, but in Boy & Bear's new music, those quietly intense gems are part of a bigger picture. The synth-oriented Canadian songwriter Hannah Georgas opens.