London’s Bear’s Den may be a British folk / rock outfit, but don’t let the banjo fool you: they are not just another Mumford & Sons. The touring quartet weaves achingly beautiful stories that often begin deceivingly quietly before building into lush, gut-wrenching compositions. Performing tracks from their debut Agape EP, last year’s Without/Within full-length and this year’s Elysium 10″, Bear’s Den made a wonderful debut on the Marina Stage.
Set centerpiece “Elysium” was a quietly creeping anthem that showcased the band’s effortless ability to connect instantly with listeners through swelling instrumental arrangements and lyrics that tug at questions we all ask ourselves. The entire set was a poignant and sentimental display of balancing marching rhythms with heartaching lyrics and vulnerability. The band still had fun on stage though, working through standout tracks “Agape” and “Pompeii” with tight harmonies and bringing in a cornet at key moments. Check out the photos and setlist below and listen to the full audio here (via the WXPN media player).
Bear’s Den | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Bear's Den, Wiggins Park, xpnfest-sun-marina, XPoNential Music Festival 2014