‘STRAW BEAR: ALL YOU NEED IS AN ELECTRIC GUITAR’

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Straw Bear: (L to R) Ian Ray (Vocals/Guitar), Catie Wicks (Bass), Tom Shipp (Guitar), Chris Gray (Guitar /Keys), Pas Stratos (Drums).

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SINGLE – All You Need is an Electric Guitar

IMPACT DATE – 8 JANUARY 2016 (ISRC  GB8S51500001)

Everyone has a record that’s rescued them: a song that’s swept you away and set you back down in a slightly better place.

BBC favourites Straw Bear are back with “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” – a record that celebrates the irresistible power of a pop song to sink its hooks in and not let go.

They’ve cut their own slice of infectious psychedelic power-pop in the process too:

The London-based five piece’s 2013 album ‘Black Bank’ won gushing praise and regular national airplay from legendary DJ Bob Harris – as well as spins from Dermot O’Leary, Huw Stephens, Cerys Matthews and Tom Robinson, for whom they played a Radio 6 Music session. In 2013, BBC Introducing picked them from thousands of bands to be showcased at The Great Escape Europe’s leading emerging music festival, and highlights from their set were broadcast on Radio 1.

Praise for the band has always centred around their knack for writing pristine pop songs, and “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” sounds as chiming as ever — but now enveloped in washes of blissed-out psyche guitar.

This is a song showing Straw Bear’s mastery of the pop song — with a truly addictive chorus: one that soars and returns exactly when you hope it will.

“All You Need Is An Electric Guitar”’s video is a story of grind, despair and redemption, and is directed by Jake Robertson. Watch this space!

“For anyone who cares about music, there will be a time when a song or a favourite album has got them out of a hole,” says Ian Ray. “So the song’s really all about how music can come to your rescue; it has an incredible capacity to soothe and elevate you out of the everyday grind.”

The song emerges after a turbulent couple of years, and their new forthcoming album, “Fiction,” is the result of a series of births, deaths and marriages. The band return emboldened by their experiences and are stronger than ever: tighter pop choruses, laser- focused verses and bolder lyrics.

They’ve also built their own studio in Essex, and new LP “Fiction”, set for release later in the year, was recorded there.

For more information about Straw Bear:

www.strawbear.com www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic www.twitter.com/strawbearmusic

Cavalry

Liverpool five-piece Cavalry have crafted a sound that confidently melds together a mixture of classic and contemporary musical influence, from Paul Simon to The National, Fleetwood Mac to Villagers, The Beatles to Bon Iver.
 
Since they formed, the band’s music has quickly caught the attention of established and influential musicians, seeing them take on live support slots for British Sea Power, The Antlers and Steve Malkmus. 

BBC Merseyside’s Dave Monks and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens featured the band as a discovery on ‘BBC Introducing’, with Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music and Janice Long of Radio 2 both eagerly playing their early tracks.
 
It’s hard to believe Cavalry have achieved so much in so short a time, with just two online tracks and a handful of live shows under their belts, but their music strikes a deep chord on first listen. 
 
Leaves’ has all the dreamy insistence of a long-lost Grant Lee Buffalo gem, while ‘Lament’ hints at the understated anthemic pull of Band Of Horses at their best. 
 
With national radio eager to playlist the band, they will release their first official single, ‘An Understanding’, later this year. Fingers crossed for an appearance at Glastonbury Festival too – the band are currently longlisted for a slot.
 
Cavalry are Alan Croft on lead vocals, Austin Logan on guitar, Paul Jones on bass, Steven Taylor on guitar and Gareth Dawson on drums.
Website: http://cavalryofficial.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/__cavalry__

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cavalryliverpool

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cavalryliverpool

Bird To Beast pick up national attention and high praise for Elephant & Winter Snow

Bird to Beast

It’s been a fantastic few weeks for psyche-folk duo Bird To Beast, who have begun to pick up widespread praise and national radio play for their new double-A single, Elephant/Winter Snow.

 

Elephant has now had multiple spins on BBC 6 Music from early supporter Steve Lamacq, as well as Marc Riley, Radcliffe & Maconie and Chris Hawkins – plus additional key tastemaker support from Alex Lester at BBC Radio 2, Ruth Barnes and Shell Zenner at Amazing Radio, Michelle Hussey at BBC Radio Manchester and Sean McGinty at BBC Radio Lancashire.

As well as this whirl of radio play, the band played a unique show last week at Manchester’s wonderful Royal Exchange Theatre – to a crowd who were thrilled by a brilliant show in a wonderful setting.

Londoners can catch them soon, too, when they play a daytime show at Union Chapel on Saturday 15th February, before playing in Manchester again on Thursday 13th March in Gullivers.

There is a brilliant video for Elephant to follow, before the eagerly-awaited physical release of their debut LP, Bird to Beast on the 17th February.

STRAW BEAR’S “THE LAND WITCH” RELEASED TO WIDE ACCLAIM

It’s a song that has grabbed repeated plays from BBC Radio 2‘s folk mainstay Bob Harris, who counts himself as a “big fan” as a result of The Land Witch‘s gleaming alt-folk pop charm.

He’s not the only one – a long, illustrious list of national DJs have backed the band again and again over the last 12 months, including Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins, Gary Crowley and nabbing a record of the week slot on BBC Alba’s RAPAL show.

It’s the final single taken from their enthusiastically-reviewed Black Bank LP, and is accompanied by a smart and slightly tongue-in-cheek spooky video.

If 2013 was a year of huge progress and breakthrough for the Cambridgeshire band, then their ambitions for 2014 are even greater – and who could fail to be won over by a band with such talent and glorious melodies?

www.strawbear.com
www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic
twitter.com/strawbearmusic

STRAW BEAR’S THOUGHTS ON MODERN BAND LIFE PUBLISHED ON TOM ROBINSON’S FRESH ON THE NET

strawbearfreshnetIt’s been a year of national success and exposure for Straw Bear, which began with a terrific BBC 6 Music session for Tom Robinson.

Tom has been a wonderful supporter of the band, and has just published a fascinating article by Straw Bear’s Ian Ray on his hugely influential site for emerging musicians, Fresh On The Net.

Ian, in a breezy and thoughtful post, has broached the thorny subject of money; highlighting specifically how modern bands are maintaining independence via combining their musical life with a full-time job.

It’s well worth a read (freshonthenet.co.uk/2013/12/strawbear) – and is another sign that Straw Bear are a band with the right approach to couple with their brilliant tunes.

High-profile coverage mounted up after their 6 Music session, with Clash magazine citing them as one of their highlights of The Great Escape music conference, where they played the BBC Introducing stage – and this was swiftly followed by superlative-laden reviews in national music magazines R2 and Sound On Sound.

A long, illustrious list of the UK’s top national DJs have backed the band too, including repeated support from Bob Harris, as well as Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley – whilst a glut of key influencing music blogs have heaped praise on their songs.

If 2013 is anything to go by, then 2014 should be another year of success for the band!

Bird To Beast Release New Double-A Single – Elephant & Winter Snow

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ASKME -singles-button-smallIMPACT DATE: 24th March 2014
LABEL: MUK Records

Bird To Beast – AKA recently married couple Sam and Hannah Hird – continue to bewitch listeners with two more gorgeous, off-kilter psyche-folk pop songs – Elephant and Winter Snow – on their new double A-side release.

 

Elephant is an example of their uncanny ability to spin magic from the sounds of yesteryear and to create fresh, unique and infectious songs, twisting doo-wop into a sprightly folk song.

Winter Snow, on the other hand, is a beautiful, crystal-pure, frosted-over love song that slowly glows and warms as it comes in from the cold.

They recently played gigs in London and Manchester, hooking attention with sheer force of talent – cramming one gloriously unique moment after another into each of their folk-pop songs.

Armed with an album brimming with songs full of love and wonder, Bird To Beast‘s songs wheedle their way into the memory; rewarding more with every listen.

“Suggesting Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys and Rufus Wainwright at his most beautifully opulent, theirs is a flowing psych-pop folk hybrid that overflows with prettiness, engulfing the listener in rapture” – MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

“I love this – so I’m going to play an album track from Bird to Beasts’ debut album” – STEVE LAMACQ, BBC6 MUSIC

“Daniel’s melody and lyrics are beautiful, and the phrase “Daniel get out of love” has stuck with me ever since” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK, 1883 MAGAZINE

Who are Bird To Beast?

Bird to Beast is the brainchild of Sam and Hannah Hird. The duo both grew up in the Lancashire mill town of Colne, and met at the town’s annual Blues festival.

They fell in love through music, before deciding to start writing together and formed Bird To Beast.

Sam is an ex-sheep farmer who immersed himself in classical music from a tender age. Hannah has sung backing vocals for Ellie Goulding and at William and Kate’s Royal Wedding reception.

Their self-titled debut album was released via MUK Records on October 14th 2013.

www.birdtobeast.co.uk
www.facebook.com/birdtobeast

STRAW BEAR NAMED AS A HIGHLIGHT OF THE GREAT ESCAPE BY CLASH MAGAZINE

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Revered music magazine Clash picked Straw Bear as one of their select handful of highlights from The Great Escape music conference.

Straw Bear, over at the BBC Introducing stage, trade in dreamy acoustic pop. Sweet nuggets such as ‘Kitty’ take the sounds of Americana and bring them back to Blighty. Their Midlake-meets-Doves twang makes them perfect for a mid-afternoon set, sounding as cosy as your favourite duvet. Their warmth and familiarity bring compulsory smiles.

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The band’s appearance in their pages marks another step in their rapid ascent: both national and regional radio DJs, magazines and a swarm of influential blogs are all enthusing over them and their new single, Snobbery.

Snobbery has already grabbed radio play from Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Gary Crowley… and a string of plays on Amazing Radio. It is out on the 5th August.

An illustrious list of other BBC DJs have backed the band, including Bob Harris, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley…

They are touring with Kate Rogers Band in July:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle

STRAW BEAR – Snobbery

Straw Bear Snobbery

singlesIMPACT DATE: 5th August

LABEL: Oilbug Music

Do your in-laws dress more like outlaws?

Snobbery – the new single from BBC favourites Straw Bear – is a sparkling and wry evocation of love across the class divide.

 

The song wowed a packed room at BBC Introducing’s Great Escape showcase in May after Straw Bear were handpicked by Tom Robinson to perform on the back of a terrific BBC 6 Music session.

Live tracks from their set featured on Jen Long and Ally McCrae’s Radio 1 show; the pair joining an illustrious list of BBC DJs to back the band, including Bob Harris, Huw Stephens, Dermot O’Leary and Gary Crowley.

Snobbery’s funny, touching lyrics and chiming guitars made it an obvious second single, following the band’s breakthrough Kitty, which was one of Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 singles of the week.

“Whispering” Bob Harris raved about the new album Black Bank on his show, and Tom Robinson called Kitty “an understated gem” before booking the band for a session on his BBC 6 Music show.

If you take the song at face value, it’s just an amusing lyric about a horrible snob whose girlfriend’s family is a little rough around the edges,” explains principal songwriter Ian Ray of the single.

“But on a more general level, it’s about that very strange experience of trying to integrate yourself into somebody else’s family. I think everyone has had that feeling of meeting a partner’s family for the first time and thinking: ‘these people are actually insane’.”

The Cambridgeshire five-piece’s album Black Bank is an intriguing collection of oddball folk, alt-country vistas and poppier delights like Snobbery. 

Straw Bear’s infectious hooks, sprightly story-telling and sharp humour looks set to bring them to the attention of a much wider audience very soon.

They are touring with Kate Rogers Band in July:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle

www.strawbear.com
www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic
www.twitter.com/strawbearmusic

Straw Bear Continue To Pick Up Rave Reviews

As if recieving plays from BBC Radio 2‘s Whispering Bob Harris, Dermot O’Leary, and 6 Music‘s Tom Robinson, Absolute Radio’s Geoff Lloyd, Xfm’s John Kennedy…  wasn’t enough, Straw Bear continue to attract breathless praise.

This time, it’s from the respected Rock ‘n’ Reel magazine, who gave their new album, Black Bank, a five star review:

R2 review

The first single from the album, “Kitty,” is released on March 11th 2013

Straw Bear On Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 Show

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Legendary radio DJ Bob Harris raves about Straw Bear‘s “Kitty” on his BBC Radio 2 show on Sunday 17th February 2013.


The band are booked in for a Tom Robinson session on BBC Radio 6 Music on 9th March – Bob said that this is “definitely a date to put in the diary.”

“Kitty” is released on March 11th 2013.