Small Bear Records ended 2015 with the third release from This Heel, logically titled This Heel III. This Heel is the solo work of Martin Månsson Sjöstrand, prolific frontman of Sweden’s Dog, Paper, Submarine (who themselves released a new EP in 2015, with another due in early this year).
This Heel deals in catchy and melodic lo-fi indie-rock. Where EP II was largely acoustic, III sees more electric textures whilst retaining the laid-back feel of the previous record. For those new to This Heel, reference points include the likes of Guided By Voices and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Small Bear Records are happy to announce their latest release, the Over The Ash Tree EP by Dave Woodgett. You may download it via bandcamp.
Woodgett is a 23 year old musician from Norwich. After recently moving to the Isle of Man, Over The Ash Tree was recorded on the stage of a local music venue co-founded by Woodgett, using only an acoustic guitar and a drum kit. Woodgett’s music was brought to the attention of Small Bear Records via his pal Jon Price, also band-member of Small Bear Records’ Veto. Veto are Jon Price, Paul Nicholson, Maz Norton and Simon Densham.
Price suggested Small Bear Records founder, Phil Reynolds, give a listen to Woodgett’s material, so he did. What he heard was three songs of stripped-down, swampy magnificence, reminiscent, possibly, of early Black Keys or maybe La Hell Gang, Other Lives or Ty Segall.
The follow up to September’s Year Of The Zebra Part One EP, Part Two is out now from Small Bear Records.
Whereas the first part was lighter and more upbeat, Year Of The Zebra Part Two EP sees Postcode returning to more familiar terrain, darker and in places noisier. The recording expands in different directions, adding keyboards, 12-string guitar, and backwards delay. Once again the EP was recorded as a duo by founding members Marie Reynolds and Mikie Daugherty.
The video for “Take Me As I Am” can be viewed on YouTube.
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“Take Me As I Am” by Postcode
Small Bear Records are happy to announce the reissue of the debut by Clara Barker titled Indigo. This release follows the release of her second album, Fine Art & The Breslins, earlier in 2014.
Indigo contains a variety of songs, ranging from the joyous and playful “Cowboy, Ninja, Bear!” to the more downbeat and dark title track. The album is available now via bandcamp. The video for “Abigail,” shot by Alex Mealin, can be viewed on YouTube.
“Abigail” by Clara Barker
Postcode began life when Marie Reynolds asked Mikie Daugherty to write songs with her in early 2005. Two songs were written but lost, before they began work on what would become Zebracore in the autumn of that year. The second album Zebraland was released in September 2008, following The Post-Zebracore E.P which came out earlier that year.
Longtime friend Steve Halsall joined the band as bassist in 2011. Next, guitarist, smooth mover and ukulele ace Kieran Ball and drummer Mambo the Mystery Boy joined in 2013.
The group has just released their second record of 2014, an EP entitled Year Of The Zebra – Part One. Issued by Small Bear Records, it can be found on bandcamp.
This EP features the lighter, poppier and more upbeat side of Postcode and sees the band exploring new territory whilst utilising, and sometimes expanding upon, the instrumental blueprint laid down on last year’s EP. Ostensibly a more traditional record than some past Postcode releases, Year Of The Zebra – Part One sees the band experimenting as much as ever and utilising sounds and techniques they have not explored before.
The video for lead track “Yggdrasil” can be viewed on YouTube.
“Yggdrasil” by Postcode
Currently on tour, Matt Bouvier releases his debut EP Death And Love for Small Bear Records. The album is a collection recorded in England, Sweden and Norway. The follow up to his self-released Death And Hope, the EP sees him utilising a more electronic sound and more complex orchestration, whilst continuing to explore dark themes. The recording also adds his original EP, which is no no longer available elsewhere.
Visit Matt Bouvier’s bandcamp to have a listen to the digital album. Visit Youtube for a preview of the track “My Best Friend.”
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“My Best Friend” by Matt Bouvier
Live mp3 courtesy of Phil Reynolds of Small Bear Records
The new album from Manx singer-songwriter Clara Barker, Fine Art & The Breslins, is available now on Small Bear Records. You may also find it on Bandcamp. All purchases from Bandcamp also include four bonus tracks as a special thank you for buying direct from the artist.
The sophomore album from Barker features eleven songs of love and longing along with odes to sleep and Tennessee’s finest. It also features beautiful artwork by Oscar-nominated artist Juan ‘Fine Art’ Moore. Barker, and production partner in crime Phil Reynolds have created a collection of songs that are funny, gentle, brutal, clever and completely open-hearted.
A short video talking about the album can be seen on YouTube. And, more about Ms. Barker can be found here, including the video for “The Bees Song.”
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“Love (Fill My Heart)” by Clara Barker