Boy & Bear – With Emperor Antarctica

                                                    Photo by Max Knight

Admittedly I was a bit hesitant to publish this post at first, in fear of being quite biased but this debut EP by Sydney’s Boy & Bear deserves praise, and lots of it.

For me, it all began back at the end of 2007 listening to a demo called Solider by one, Dave Hosking. That song, amongst other demos received high rotation and towards the end of 2008, I was sent a copy of the debut EP Marmalade Hill by Dave himself. It was a stunning debut and was, and still is one of my favourite EPs. Eagerly awaiting another release in early 2009, after assurance of new material, Dave presented fans with The Storm and it was then he grabbed the attention of others, and subsequently Boy & Bear was born.

It was debut single Mexican Mavis that kicked things off for then four-piece Boy & Bear, quickly gaining airplay on Triple J as a result of Triple J Unearthed. The response, no doubt bigger than the band anticipated, with comparisons to Fleet Foxes and the nod of approval by Triple’s J Richard Kingsmill. Boy & Bear consisting then of Dave Hosking (lead vocals/guitars), Killian Gavin (vocals/guitars), Tim Hart (drums/vocals/guitars), Jake Tarasenko (vocals/bass) became the band to watch, ending the year by winning the Triple J Unearthed Homebake competition earning themselves a spot on the 2009 line up.

Boy & Bear became a five-piece band with the recent addition of Jon Hart on keys/vocals/mandolin and this year alone, have supported the likes of Angus & Julia Stone, Hungry Kids of Hungary and the UK’s Laura Marling. (Both Tim & Jake doubled as members of Laura Marling’s touring band)

Now the wait is over, after teasing fans with new single, Rabbit Song (and releasing a video) Boy & Bear’s much anticipated debut EP With Emperor Antarctica is a day away of joining your high rotation list. Featuring five tracks, the three known songs, The Storm, Mexican Mavis and previously mentioned Rabbit Song as well as newies Blood to Gold and The Rain. Full of strong harmonies and well crafted lyrics, this debut EP will have you falling in love with Boy & Bear’s music all over again.

It may have taken longer than hoped to hear new material from Dave but it was well worth the wait, and this is one band I can honestly say, deserves all the success they receive.

To coincide with this EP release, Boy & Bear have just announced their first headline tour this June, with support from Oh Ye Denver Birds and The Chemist. Boy & Bear are currently on tour with Lisa Mitchell and Georgia Fair, they’ll also be playing Splendour (if you’re lucky enough to have secured a ticket) All dates below.

Thurs 6th May: Villa Noosa Hotel
Friday 7th May: Tivoli, Brisbane
Weds 12th May: Wollongong Uni
Thurs 13th May: Evans Theatre, Penrith
Friday 14th May: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Sunday 16th May: Astor Theatre, Perth
Thurs 20th May: HQ, Adelaide
Friday 21st May: Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mt Gambier
Wed 26th May: Bluestone, Ballarat
Friday 28th May: Forum, Melbourne
Saturday 29th May: Launceston City Club
Sunday 30th May: Wrestpoint, Hobart

4 June: Jive, Adelaide, SA
5 June: Northcote Social Club, VIC
11 June: The Troubadour, Brisbane, QLD
12 June: The Annandale, Sydney, NSW

With Emperor Antarctica is out (officially) tomorrow, Friday May 7th through Island Records Australia. The EP is currently streaming on the band’s myspace page.


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