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?

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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!

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

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

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STRAW BEAR PLAY TO PACKED BBC INTRODUCING STAGE AT THE GREAT ESCAPE 2013

After wowing Tom Robinson with a live session on his BBC 6 Music show, he picked Straw Bear to appear alongside some of the UK’s most hotly-tipped new bands at the BBC Introducing Stage at Europe’s most prestigious new music festival, The Great Escape.

This is just another indication of Straw Bear‘s rapid rise to prominence – after local, national and now live national BBC sessions, and endorsement from huge Radio 2 DJs Whispering Bob Harris and Dermot O’Leary.

This recording was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on 20th May 2013.

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Straw Bear Live Session On BBC 6 Music

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Straw Bear were hugely excited to be asked to perform a live session for hugely respected BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson on his 6 Music show, and they were – as radio listeners are used to by now – fabulous!

 

Tom loves the band and has supported them since before Christmas 2012 – so he was just as pleased that they did the session as the band themselves were!

Momentum is picking up for the band – Straw Bear are also appearing at The Great Escape on Friday 17th May on the BBC Introducing Stage.

Straw Bear Picked For BBC Introducing Showcase At The Great Escape 2013

strawbearbbctge

Straw Bear have been chosen alongside some of the UK’s most hotly-tipped new bands to perform at the BBC Introducing Stage at Europe’s most prestigious new music festival, The Great Escape.

Selected by hugely-respected BBC DJs Tom RobinsonHuw Stephens, Jen Long and Ally McCrae, Straw Bear will be performing with Childhood, Iyes, and Lauren Aquilina; and live recordings of their show will be played over the various BBC networks the following week.

Read more on the BBC Introducing blog here!

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.