This is a peculiar album, in that we can’t make our minds up. At first we thought it started off strongly and tailed off to be rather forgettable, yet track nine turns out to be a proper earworm. It’s electronic pop with pretentions to grandeur that means it’s more than just electronic beeps with a beat, and despite a certain degree of coldness, there are some good melodies and hooks. The opening seconds suggest cold and moody electronica but this is false start and There’s A Ghost In My Heart is atmospheric electronic pop, as is Outside In The Snow. We’d guess the band are fans of not only eighties synth pop but Giorgio Moroder and the 70s.
On the other hand, Coming In has echoey acoustic guitar and a feel of Fragile-era acoustic Yes – thankfully there are no 27 minute triangle solos – but ends up sounding a bit Gravenhurst. Slumber is dreamier electronic pop.
The two best tracks are Coming In and track nine, the earworm We Don’t Deserve To Die. The basic problem is that they sound like they’re off two different albums, even by two different bands. Coming In is a sparse and moody alt folk song recorded by an earnest hippy a woodland cabin, while We Don’t Deserve To Die is a luxuriant synth pop tune that’s not quite dance (though there’s more than a few moments of gay dance floor on the album) made by some trendy dude in a baseball cap. Both Coming In and Deserve To Die are downbeat, and the variation at least shows an inventive band.
The PR says Bearcraft is a Bristol music collective – maybe that explains the range of sound – and Outside In The Morning Snow, one of the more electronic songs, is the lead single.
It’s all a little underwhelming at first play but does gradually reveal its charms; perhaps a little too understated for its own good. Still, it might appeal to everyone from fans of the Pet Shop Boys to followers of Gravenhurst and Kieran Hebden. And the junior reviewer, aged seven, commented favourably on Where The Sun Sets, an cool electronic track that’s a bit Bjork.
Help the artist make a living. Buy from: bearcraftmusic.com
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