Let me kick things off by posing a question: why is it that some bands, often with little to offer the world, gain immediate attention and success, and others, quite often more talented and infinitely more interesting, are left in the shadows? Is it all down to luck? Is it the age-old showbiz adage of ‘it’s not what you know but who you know (or blow)’? Or is it right time, right place? Whatever the answer, it can’t be denied that the music industry can be an unjust arena. If it were a fairer world, based purely on musical ability, then surely a band like Us Baby Bear Bones wouldn’t be confined to the darker corners of the internet.
Hailing from Brighton, England – a town fast becoming one of the richest sources for hot new talent in the land – this three piece (Puff, Daisy and Luke) came into being at the start of 2012. Now, I’m sure they were around before this but it appears that all records of any earlier incarnations have been struck from the record. A conscious decision has been made to start afresh this year, and if the tracks released so far are anything to go by then this fresh start is off to a flier.
The slick video for “You” shows off perfectly what these guys are all about, sweet vocals, dark lyrics and arresting instrumentation. They lull you in with lovely twinkling sounds and lush melodies, but as the song progresses you begin to realize that this more than a just sweet pop song. A thumping beat and impassioned vocals (the line ‘Open my heart, fill it with dirt, the filth from this forest is better than you’ is the first clue that this perhaps isn’t the sugary little ditty suggested by the opening few bars…) dominate the second half of the song and together with lush synths and, yes, some clarinet, it makes for one hell of a three minutes.
The only other track currently available from the band, “Rain”, follows a similar template (starting off all gentle and magical, before growing fierce with even bigger beats) without ever sounding the same. It’s the strange, sugar coated dark magic that makes Us Baby Bear Bones’ brand of dreamy-space pop so interesting, like Paul Daniels if he’d been into some nasty voodoo shit. Even their name conjures up images of sweet baby bears frolicking in a field of skeletons and death… although that may just be me.
An EP entitled What Starts With A U And Ends With An I has been in the pipeline since April, first pencilled in for a July release, then August, but has still yet to see the light of day. When it does drop those lucky enough to pick up one of the limited 216 presses will receive a unique artwork with the CD, which, when put together with its 215 brothers will make one huge picture. It’s a grand concept that’s befitting of a band with such huge potential. I challenge anybody not to fall under their spell after just one listen.