Being a regular performer at The Old Redmond Firehouse, I am a huge fan of Seattle’s own Fleet Foxes. From the Pacific Northwest, these guys honed their craft in Seattle’s clubs, like the OFH. Now, their almost-choral harmonies, folksy melodies, and absolutely incredible lyricism have endeared me and many others to them.
They even have some disciples, it seems, as the Australian band Boy & Bear does their best re-creating the choral parts Fleet Foxes became known for after their self-titled album in their intro to “Mexican Mavis”, before launching into a more 60s rock-influenced percussive folk sound reminiscent, but independent, of our favorite Foxes.
Boy & Bear, an Australian quintet formed in 2009 made up of frontmen from other Australian bands (plus a non-frontman, Jon Hart), is more famous internationally than here in America; they’ve toured with Mumford and Sons in Australia and Jack White’s new find Laura Marling in the UK. However, their recent gig at SXSW in Austin has amped up their hype in the states.
Personally, I find the harmonies and the percussive rock of Boy & Bear a nice twist on the lyrical folk formula brought into renaissance by the Fleet Foxes. Of course, the lyricism is not as wonderful as our favorite Foxes, but it works well, as “Mexican Mavis”, their only single available in the states from their EP With Emperor Antarctica, has some of the better lines I’ve heard in a while: “my lo-o-o-o-o-ove’s / not a limit”, and “the call for help / she’ll call for him” stand out in particular. The gradual crescendo throughout the song, particularly apt and swift changes in dynamics, helped by the excellent percussionist Tim Hart, and the final acoustic/vocal echoes: “the ca-all…for help” all indicate an emotion penetrating the song’s subtext. And that, my friends, is why Boy & Bear should be on your radar.
Right-Click to Download: Boy and Bear – Mexican Mavis