This Boy and Bear article was written by Jen Taylor, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
Sydney’s Boy and Bear have, throughout their six year career, produced a catalogue of music that has varied between releases, but stays true to the type of music they have instilled as ‘theirs’. On the back of a year spent busily touring, they have released their third studio album ‘Limit of Love’.
Their idea behind ‘Limit of Love’ was to make the album as live and ‘real’ as possible, recording it straight to tape as a band, and without too much over production. Perhaps this approach was influenced by their recent touring and a wish to make an album true to that vibe. The result is a more stripped back and raw record; like you might expect a classic rock band to sound.
While ‘Limit of Love’ lacks a certain something that made its predecessor, ‘Harlequin Dream’, really stand out, all the songs have something interesting about them. Title track ‘Limit of Love’ is a gutsy album starter, which almost feels like the next chapter, starting where their previous album left off.
There are some brooding tracks scattered throughout the album; ‘Showdown’ couples the sound of minor chords with the intensity of a simple and somewhat ominous bass line, and the occasional twinkling instruments that add to the overall sound.
‘Walk the Wire’ is the first single from the album; it’s a catchy song that contains a wonderful musical-addictiveness, with its driving guitar, solid harmonies and shrill guitar lead.
As a whole, the album has a certain warmth to it. The harmonies used throughout the tracks always perfectly enhance the songs and add an extra element that is typical of Boy and Bear. Dave Hosking’s crooning vocals are rich and sincere, with lilting melodies that mix with the moments of both simple and complex musical backings.
It’s difficult to top their 2013 album ‘Harlequin Dream’, and in fact ‘Limit of Love’ seems like it may be a halfway point between their two albums in terms of the feel and style. They were never entirely happy with their first album, so it is interesting to see that some songs of their latest release sound; as if they might be re-living some of their early folk days.
Already charting at number 1 on the Australian charts, and set for release in UK and Europe by the end of the month (with a tour to follow), it will be interesting to see how the album is received outside its native music scene. However Boy and Bear are one of those bands that have something for everyone in their albums, not to mention that their live shows are incredibly genuine and enjoyable.
‘Limit of Love’ is out on the 30th October via Boy & Bear Pty Ltd.