STRAW BEAR CAP BREAK-THROUGH YEAR BY RELEASING “THE LAND WITCH”

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ASKME -singles-button-smallIMPACT DATE: 14th January 2014
LABEL: Oilbug Music

Straw Bear are capping a thrilling breakthrough year with a third single, The Land Witch – and it may well be their best single yet.

 

With repeated plays from Bob Harris – who counts himself as a “big fan”, The Land Witch is a deeply lovely, chiming and soaring ode to youthful fears; showcasing all that is wonderful about Straw Bear. 

A long, illustrious list of national DJs have backed the band, including Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins, Gary Crowley and record of the week on BBC Alba’s RAPAL show – whilst a glut of key influencing music blogs have heaped praise on their songs.

Their knack for weaving Ian Ray’s gloriously emotive vocals in and out of their gleaming, singular folk-rock is unsurpassed by few and adored by many – and as the song reaches its shimmering, foggy climax, you’ll wonder if they might just be one of the best new bands of the year.

The song is drawn from their debut LP Black Bank, an album that caused R2 Magazine to gush, “these musicians are made for each other and what they produce is some of the freshest, seminal songs of 2013.”

Said singer Ian of the song’s curious title:

“I was in the back of my nan’s car as a kid and I swear she told my dad that a ‘land witch’ lived in the woods near her house.”
“I sincerely believed that some weird old crone would abduct me if I went too close to the trees. Only years later did I realise I misheard her and made the whole thing up.”

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

Then revered music magazine Clash picked them as one of their select handful of highlights from 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.

Straw Bear are holding a final celebratory gig of 2013 at the beautiful Waterbeach Baptist Chapel near Cambridge on Saturday November 16th.

Sound on Sound‘s Sam Inglis likes their LP Black Bank so much, he asked if he could come and man the mixing desk!

“I’m a big fan of Straw Bear… we all like them very much!” – Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

When I say that Straw Bear’s album is quite possibly the best thing I have ever reviewed in these pages, be assured that I bloody well mean it.” – Sam Inglis, Sound On Sound Magazine

Their music is part alt.country, part indie folk, reminiscent of such American bands as Midlake and early-Elecktra 60s rock sounds. However, everything here – the quirky, insightful and intelligent lyrics, lovely relaxed playing, the melodies and sly vocals – indicates a singular talent.” John Crosby – Rock ‘n’ Reel Magazine

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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

Blind Atlas – Kodiak Bear

www.blindatlas.co.uk

Blind Atlas have teamed up again with the incredible animator Volkerfirma films who created the video for ‘My Proud Mountains’ which was ‘Video of the week’ on the BBC6 Music Nemone Show. The latest animation for Kodiak Bear  is for the title track to their debut album, which is due out in April 2012. The results are simply stunning.

Hailing from Denver, Colorado and disparate points around the UK, Blind Atlas came together in the bohemian suburbs of South Manchester, united by a shared preoccupation with drinking, failed relationships and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Led by singer/guitarist Ross Thompson, Blind Atlas concoct a new take on American alternative country and classic British rock ‘n’ roll, taking inspiration from The Rolling Stones and Townes Van Zandt right through to artists such as Calexico and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Blind Atlas have notched up headline slots at some of the most iconic venues in Manchester, with dates planned around their forthcoming debut album. They recently released their ‘Iron wall’ EP which, along with their double A-side single ‘4th Street/For Carol“, was produced by The Earlies. Both releases garnered numerous radio plays including BBC Radio 2 (Bob Harris) and BBC6 Music (Cerys Matthews, Jo Good, Tom Robinson, Gideon Coe).

“… dramatic, spellbinding with a touch of darkness in parts make Blind Atlas a thoroughly hypnotic act … powerful and mesmerising… well worth your attention”.  [BBC]

“… grizzled vocals and a heart-wrenching lyric sheet … think Ryan Adams fronting The Black Keys, or perhaps Fleet Foxes with a Led Zeppelin fixation; and clearly all designed to soundtrack long, whisky-addled nights of anguished soul-searching.”  [CityLife/Manchester Evening News]