UK Folk/Rock group Hunter & The Bear have really got it going on, so much that they were featured in Renowned For Sound’s Ones To Watch category last year. Their music gets the critics raving, and though they are often compared to other folk outfits, they have their own unique sound that makes them stand out. 2014 was one heck of a year for the group as they played at the Hard Rock Calling festival alongside Bruce Springsteen and also supported Eric Clapton on his UK tour, and this year they are making their debut at the legendary Reading & Leeds festival. Now the band are set to release their new EP Wildfire, and we can’t wait to give it a spin.
The EP is kicked off by lead single Burn It Up, and there’s no wonder as to why Hunter & The Bear were chosen to play the shows they played. Lead singer Will Irvine is almost channeling Bruce Springsteen with his gruff and commandeering vocal. All in all, it’s a wise choice of single selection, with all the power necessary to drive the release. Since September has a more melancholy ring to it: the warmth of the guitars and the subtlety of the beat allows for the melody to bare a great deal of emotion.
The acoustic guitar opens Shadow Man before the beat and the vocals take over. This track is almost comparable to the sound of Matchbox Twenty with masculinity and energy resonating from Irvine’s voice; it’s another notable track on the EP. Adding to the EP’s versatility, Battle Scars has a heavier guitar riff to back it up and you can definitely identify where the folk comes into Hunter & The Bears’ rock, there’s a story being told in the lyrics and it’s successfully delivered throughout the captivating melody. Final track Blood Red Skies has subtle verses followed by lifted choruses, ending the EP on both a lighter and ambient note.
After listening to their Wildfire EP it became very clear why Hunter & The Bear was chosen as one of Renowned For Sound’s Ones To Watch, they have an undeniable talent as performers, songwriters and instrumentalists; with each track you find yourself gripped in all kinds of ways, not only with the melody and the lyrics, but the overall atmosphere delivered throughout the EP. It will be interesting to see where the group end up next, but a full length studio album would be welcomed with open arms.