Boy & Bear’s Album ‘Harlequin Dream’ – Review
Boy & Bear are an indie rock-folk music band formed back in 2009. The band consists of David Hosking (vocals and guitar), Killian Gavin (vocals and guitar), Timothy Hart (drums and vocals), Jonathan Hart (vocals, banjo, mandolin and keyboards) and David Symes (bass). They’re known for remarkable live performances and they made their first appearance at Lollapalooza in 2011, where the crowd was more than impressed by their beautiful songs, infused with spine-tingling vocal harmonies, great guitar riffs, mandolins, keys and banjos.
If I was to describe “Harlequin Dream”, I would say that it’s very Mumford and Sons-esque, the type of album that you could listen to on a really long car journey. Breezy guitar work mixes effortlessly with laid back and refined vocals to really top off this album. One thing I really like about Boy & Bear is their storytelling ability. Every song on this album is lyrically sound and works in perfect harmony with the music to get the album that now sits in one of my top spots for indie music.
Some of my personal favorites from the album were the (previously mentioned) “Southern Sun” and “Three Headed Woman”, as well as the songs “Bridges” and “Back Down The Black”.
“Southern Sun” (by far the best song on the album) has a really uplifting chorus with a great hook. “The song is only two chords, but it’s completely captivating” says Dave Hosking, lead singer. I completely agree. The vivid storytelling mixed with the subtle music creates a brilliant first track for the album.
Boy & Bear’s current single, “Three Headed Woman”, is also a great addition to this album. The fourth track on the album, and my favorite overall. The conflict that Boy & Bear portray with the lyrics is perfect. I love the line “The love that keeps me sane is killing me”.
“Bridges” is another of my favorites from the album. You’ve got great percussion, as well as a great chorus, that make a great chill song. I think the vocals on this song are pretty good as well. In fact it’s probably my favorite song vocally. Hosking really has to be applauded for this one.
“Back Down The Black” takes a slightly darker turn lyrically, but still makes for a great song. I especially love the “Beast on a leash” metaphor in the lyrics. As I said: Boy & Bear’s storytelling ability is amazing. Even though the lyrics are slightly darker in this song, I still love the tempo and the music of the tune, it just fits it perfectly. Smooth guitar and David Symes does well on the drums for this one. This song gives me shivers.
“Harlequin Dream” is a great album, and would recommend listening to it even if the genre isn’t your usual cup of tea.
Boy & Bear released their debut album, “Harlequin Dream” in Ireland on 26th September. They will be playing Whelan’s on 9th of November, with support from Dancing Years.
Check out the band’s current single “Three Headed Woman” here:
Review by Ciarán Watts