Things We Love This Week: Bear’s Den, Lizzo, The National

Another week has rolled around agai- oh no wait, IT’S A FOUR DAY WEEK. Happy Easter, you crazy animal. Thank you Jesus for blessing us with two bank holidays.

Bear’s Den – O2 Academy Bristol

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to witness Bear’s Den live, you’ll know it is one hell of a special occasion. They’ve been touring lately in support of their new record, ‘So That You Might Hear Me’, which is due to arrive at the end of the month. This Tuesday saw them hit Bristol’s O2 Academy, and it was sensational.

Although, yes, incredibly sad, there’s something about Bear’s Den’s folk-tinged, finger-picked masterpieces that can both break and mend a heart, simultaneously taking away your breath and bringing tears to your eyes. What an emotional time. As well as churning out the new material, they still took the time to play fan favourites, including Isaac, Above The Clouds of Pompeii and of course, closed the performance with the foot-stomping, flannel-wearing, banjo-wielding Agape.

This band are at their best when cutting out the synths and their new-found War On Drugs aesthetic, and stripping their gorgeous songs right down to the bare bones. A trademark at their live shows, Andrew Davie, Kev Jones et al turned off the amps and played Sophie fully acoustic. Later on saw them ascend the stairs that frame the audience in the O2 Academy to play a new one. It was pretty epic. The girl behind me cried. 10/10 would recommend. Tickets for the remaining dates of the tour are available here.

Lizzo – Juice

Lizzo doesn’t half release some bangers! Juice is easily one of the best pop songs to come out of 2019 so far, with catchy melodies and a whole load of personality to match. The single dropped in January to widespread acclaim, and got its own ‘70s-flecked video too.

This week a second video was shared — because after all, you can never have too many music videos for the same track. The new release sees the incredible vocalist dancing with some of the competitors from RuPaul’s Drag Race — A’keria Davenport, Asia O’Hara, Detox, Mariah Balenciaga, Morgan McMichaels, Soju, Sonique, Mayhem Miller, and my new favourite, the brilliantly named Silky Nutmeg Ganache.

Among the bright colours, wacky hairstyles, and suggestive dance moves, there is a lot of fruit involved. Squeezing grapefruits, crushing lemons with bare hands, and even *ahem* deep throating bananas. At least they’re getting their five a day, eh?

The National on BBC Radio 6 Music

Oh look, it’s me again, your friendly neighbourhood National-fanatic gushing about our Ohio boys. The National are currently on tour in the UK (despite not heading anywhere near the South-West or Wales, cry), and made a brief stop off at Maida Vale Studios in London for a live set.

Introduced by Mary-Ann Hobbs, the lads kicked off proceedings with Rylan — a song that’s been in the works for a long time, played at live shows for years, and has lots of rumours associated with it among fans on social media. Then came Oblivions, accompanied by vocalists Mina Tindall and Kate Stables. My. Heart. Aches. They closed things up with Light Years, their latest single.

The album, ‘I Am Easy To Find’ is due for release on May 17 via 4AD. On Thursday night they headlined the Royal Festival Hall in London, and I’ve heard some EXCELLENT things. Head here to get tickets for the rest of the shows. You should.

Things start happening about an hour in to the show. Listen here.

Enjoy copious amounts of chocolate, and don’t even THINK about setting an alarm until Tuesday. Over and out x

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