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.
NPR has premiered a new video for “Elysium” by Bear’s Den, taken from the UK group’s upcoming 10″ EP. Filmed by James Marcus Haney, the video follows Haney’s younger brother and his group of friends at Seattle Pacific University over the course of a few days in early June. But what was supposed to be a documentary of care-free college students enjoying the last few days of the semester suddenly turned tragic and heartbreaking when the campus experienced a shooting. Haney’s brother and his friends were deeply affected by the shooting, and you can read the filmmaker’s full statement on the circumstances here. Bear’s Den will perform at this month’s XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday, July 27th. Tickets are still available here.
The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.
There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)
Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).
Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.