After what seems like an eternity, Boy and Bear have returned with a brand new single called ‘Southern Sun‘.
After being one of the hottest acts in the country two years ago with their breakthrough debut album ‘Moonfire’, Boy and Bear’s latest single is pretty exciting, perhaps only second to the news that their sophomore album ‘Harlequin Dream’ will be out before the end of the year. And there is so much to love about ‘Southern Sun’ with a return of those magical harmonies and Dave Hoskings voice sounding as good as ever. The song kicks straight into one of Boy and Bear’s almost iconic grooving folk rhythms, and then get spiced up by a sexy cascading guitar riff that just lifts this song into the top echelons of indie folk being released in Australia as of late. If going to Splendour wasn’t already exciting, the prospect of seeing a host of new Boy and Bear songs being unveiled is certainly something I cannot wait for. Needless to say after a couple of listens, we are addicted to ‘Southern Sun’.
Boy and Bear drummer Tim Hart is about to release his debut solo album titled ‘Milling The Wind‘ later this week.
‘Milling The Wind’ is a characteristic and easily accessible folk album with a delicate multi-instrumental arrangement of flutes, banjos, guitars and horns. Throughout the album, Tim Hart’s vocals are charming, emotional and contain a subtle but quintessentially Australian twang. Its also nice to see cameos from Boy and Bear front man Dave Hosking and bass player Jake Tarasenko, with Jordan Ireland from now defunct outfit The Middle East also making an appearance.
‘Architects’ is the delicate finger plucking ode that is not only the opening track and first single, but really sets the folk tone for the rest of the album. Accompanied by later more upbeat numbers, the use of plucky banjo patterns and soaring vocal hooks in ‘Cover of Your Code’ and ‘Wicked Winters’ is entertaining and easily invites comparisons to Boy and Bear.
‘A Number of Us’ is one of the standout tracks, and features the backing vocals of Dave Hosking. It takes a heavy and emotional look at the transition from adolecense to adulthood, with talk of drugs, fatherhood, failure and how the “rest are just moving on”. The The additional inclusion of the piano really adds that little something extra, but it is the poignant interplay between Hart and Hoskings vocals in the chorus that really make this song so fantastic.
The melancholy and haunting nature in which ‘A Number of Us’ and ‘So Come The Rain’ are sung and written is what really allows Tim Hart to shake away from the upbeat Boy and Bear vibe and cement his own sound on the album. The eerily delicate acoustics in ‘So Come The Rain’ are opposed by the fife and interjecting electric guitar riff, which together really manages to capture the brutality of farm life and Australian weather, that Tim Hart was aiming for.
If you told me that somebody from indie folk powerhouse Boy and Bear was going to release a solo album, I would not have picked drummer Tim Hart to be that person. Having said that, I now wonder why he chose to sit behind the drums, given that he can sing and is more than capable on the guitar. It also suggests that given the depth of songwriters in Boy and Bear, they should have no issues in producing a highly entertaining sophomore album backing up the acclaim they received from ‘Moonfire’.
For the project that was “always going to happen”, ‘Milling The Wind’ is an outstanding solo debut from Tim Hart. Its poignant, relaxing and at times dark, but makes for a very entertaining folk listen.