Album Review: Eliza And The Bear – Eliza And The Bear

This collection of old and new tracks is 2016’s go-to summer album, writes

Photo: Album Artwork

Photo: Album Artwork

Rating: ★★★★★

They’ve taken indie folk pop and made it their own. Featured on BBC Radio 1, first in the Live Lounge and now in album form, Eliza and the Bear are a growing success story. Formed in 2011, the 5-man London-based band has potential to get to global fame, even if just in the world of indie-pop fans. Spotify’s data shows they’ve already broken out of the UK with thousands of listeners scattered around Spain and Germany and probably some in between. Currently on a mini-tour to celebrate the release of the album, they’ve already been booked at several upcoming summer festivals.

A collection of old and new work, the self-titled album is full of powerful choruses and punching drums. Up-lifting beats and happy trumpets make this a go-to summer album, destined to be the soundtrack to many a barbecue or summer party. The new tracks only add to the proof that the band is picking up steam, with creative lyrics and unique tunes. Of course, tracks like ‘Friends’ and ‘Lion’s Heart’ are cheery and infectious, but new material like ‘Where Have You Been?’ and ‘I Hope You Know’ prove the band has depth. It’s a testament to the talent of the band how they have managed to create an album where the tracks flow from one to another, but none of the songs really sound the same when listened to on their own. The band has really come into their own with this track list, showing their full range.

‘I’m On Your Side’ begins as a complex tune – full of moody lyrics, swinging beats, and sweeping orchestral background but actually continues on to a hidden track after a few minutes of silence. ‘My Body Was Against Me’ adds an extra layer of meaning to the track, contrasting well with the first half. This 8-minute piece rounds out the standard album well, but also provides a brilliant lead onto the 4 tracks to follow in the deluxe edition of the album.

Sound like: Twin Atlantic, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers and Arcade Fire

Least likely to be: Pretentious (the band is known to be friendly with fans)

Most likely to: Be used in a promo video for an upcoming festival

And to clarify, no one in this band is called Eliza.

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