The five males who came together in London in 2011 have burst on to the scene with their debut album; Eliza and the Bear. Making up the band are friendly chaps James Kellegher on lead vocals and guitar, Callie Noakes on vocals and guitar, Martin Dukelow on guitar, Chris Brand on bass, and Paul Kevin Jackson on the drums. Taking inspiration from the likes of Mumford and Sons to Arcade Fire, the band seamlessly slip into the indie folk music scene, bringing a refreshing new burst of life. Also no, there is no Eliza in the band, the name is actually taken from a collection of Eleanor Rees’ poems.
With that cleared up, their debut album is one perfectly shaped for summer as May arrives. With singles such as “Friends” from the album already being played on repeat on the radio, there is definitely a fitting upbeat vibe with this album that makes it suitable for the months ahead. The album hits all kinds of topics, from new romances in “Where Have You Been”, to confrontation and lies in “Talk”. Not only are the lyrics relatable to various situations, but the melodies and power behind the drums and bass lines echoes the frustrations and feelings built up behind it all, making you want to scream along and let it all out.
It will make you want to run outside and dance around in fields
“Upon the North” and “Lion’s Heart” particularly are reminiscent of Mumford’s first few albums, reflecting that folk feel with acoustic guitars and upbeat summer melodies. However Eliza and the Bear do not mess around with complicated hidden meanings within their lyrics, with the repetition of “it gets cold in the night” in the song “It gets cold” slightly annoying myself as I do in fact know it gets cold in the night. Nonetheless, the album’s themes as a whole relates to everyone in the way that some friendships and relationships come and go, but others do not. This is especially evident in “I’m on your side”, voicing complicated feelings of supporting friends even when they are in the wrong. “Light It Up” is a song which definitely stood out in relevance during the stress of exams, as it lightheartedly encourages you that you will be alright during all of these confusing and difficult times.
Although some songs blur together, this album is definitely one to get you in the mood for the summer to revise. It will make you want to run outside and dance around in fields and be strong. So thanks Eliza and the Bear, your debut album release has been perfectly timed to help us during this revision and deadline stress. Maybe we will check you out on tour if you help us get good grades too?