Heralded U.K. trio Bear's Den will release their anticipated second EP Without/Within on March 3rd, but you can hear the heartfelt, shimmering and adventurous follow0up to last year's Agape here right now.
From the percolating guitar pop of first single "Writing on the Wall" to the reflective rocker "Sahara Pt II," Without/Within has several shining moments. Its finest may be "Don't Let the Sun Steal You Away," a banjo-laden folk ballad that finds frontman Andrew Davies’' unmistakably charming vocals rounded out by the strong harmonies of bandmates Joey Haynes and Kevin Jones. The latter is also the group's clearest link to Mumford & Sons, with whom Bear's Den toured during 2013.
"The songs were in many ways our most personal yet and also our most ambitious sonically," Davies tells Rolling Stone. "Joey's playing is particularly beautiful to me and his guitar and banjo melodies carry the songs so perfectly at times. Kev was experimenting more with synth bass and piano on top of drums before anyone else even picked anything up. I was experimenting for the first time in my life really on electric guitar and with delayed and reversed guitar loops. We all had our own responsibilities within this record and we all had complete belief and trust in each other. We wanted to push ourselves so that we could grow into the songs on the road and hopefully push ourselves to become a better live band because of it."
Bear's Den are currently at work on a full-length album they hope to unveil later in 2014. In the meantime, the group will launch an extensive five-week North American trek on Wednesday (February 26th) at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. The trio’s full tour itinerary and ticket information is available here.