Music

Bear’s Den’s Ultimate Playlist

Riding a wave of success right now, indie/folk duo Bear’s Den have build up a loyal and loving fanbase over the course of releasing their two albums: 2014’s Islands and Red Earth & Pouring Rain, which was unveiled earlier this year.

To celebrate the release of a brand new track, Berlin – which is suitably wintry and festive – we spoke to singer and guitarist Andrew Davie to discover his Ultimate Playlist. Read on to discover some great tunes and the stories behind the selections…

Favourite song from your childhood

“I’d say it’s probably Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan. It’s the only thing that me and my dad could agree on listening to in the car on the way to school – because my dad was a teacher at my school – and it was either that or classical music, and I just couldn’t really get into that, and so, yeah, Like a Rolling Stone was just magic, even when I was very young.”

Favourite song that no one else knows

“There’s this girl that we met playing at a festival in Canada – it was Edmonton folk festival – and she’s called Rose Cousins, and she has this song called All The Time It Takes To Wait, and I think she’s probably – lots of people know her in Canada but I don’t think that many people know about her in the UK. And I think she’s just incredible, and she has this song which I would up there with Bonnie Raitt classic songwriting, classic heartbreak songwriting. She’s just a really cool artist and her songs are all unbelievable but that one really blows me away every time.”

Favourite club anthem

“My favourite club anthem – not that I go clubbing very often, or ever really – it is probably still R Kelly’s Ignition (Remix). I think that’s probably my favourite and I don’t think that’s changed since it came out. It’s just a total banger.”

Favourite wedding song

“I recently was lucky enough to have performed at my best friend’s wedding and I sung the song In My Life by the Beatles, which is my favourite Beatles song – which is a hard thing to say, but I think it is – and getting to sing that at my best friend’s wedding was an unbelievable moment.”

Favourite one-hit wonder

“The song Your Love by The Outfield – it’s just a massive tune. I can’t really say much about it – maybe they had loads of hits but I’m only really aware of that one – and I love that song. It’s a massive tune.”

Favourite lyric from a song

“Our last tour… it was obviously really sad hearing about Leonard Cohen passing away, and we started playing So Long Marianne live during the show. We were touring with Matthew and the Atlas and each person did a verse themselves and Matthew and the Atlas sang this one verse and it just stayed with me the whole time. It was: “We met when we were almost young/Deep in the green lilac park/You held on to me like I was a crucifix/As we went kneeling through the dark” and I thought that was pretty special. It’s such a beautiful song and so many beautiful songs [came from him], it’s very very sad.”

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Favourite current song

“I’m a bit obsessed with a Frank Ocean song called White Ferrari at the moment. I don’t think I could even explain totally why I love it so much but it’s structurally really mental but I just think it’s a really sincere and beautiful song and I love the way he delivers it and he goes on this massive weird journey through instrumentation and through loads of different things and it’s just sounds really unique, not like anything else I’d ever heard and conjures up really strong images in my head, and I just love it.”

Favourite song from your own music

“It’s weird – favourite feels like the wrong word – but I think in terms of what I’ve been enjoying playing live, we have a song called Napoleon, which is the last song on our newest album, and over the last couple of weeks we’ve been able to play it with a full horn section at a bunch of different venues across Europe, and at the end of the song all the guitars and drums and stuff all fade away and it just leaves the horns playing this melody over and over again and I think I just really like that moment because it doesn’t feel like you’re performing – it just feels like you’re at a gig as well because we all turn round and watch this piece of music play out for about thirty seconds and it’s just a really, really beautiful moment. I love it.”

Favourite ballad

“I’m really obsessed with Nathaniel Rateliff – pre Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – I love the Night Sweats stuff but I think he’s an unbelievable songwriter in his own right as well and he has this really sad – I find it really beautiful – love song that’s very sad and it’s called Three Fingers In, on his album Falling Faster Than You Can Run, and I think that’s an amazingly beautiful song, whenever I hear it – that gets me.”

Favourite movie soundtrack song

“There’s a film called Love Liza, which is a really amazing movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman – it breaks my heart this movie – but the soundtrack was largely done by Jim O’Rourke, and it’s just incredible. The atmosphere of it is unbelievable. It’s a really really sad film, it’s really uplifting – it’s a really strange movie but I don’t want to say too much and give anything away – but the first ten minutes of that film is one of the most interesting premises for a film ever. It’s just a man going through something incredibly difficult and how he deals with it over the course of an hour and a half and this amazingly beautiful soundtrack and the journey he’s sort of mentally going on to get over something is just really special, and the soundtrack, it couldn’t fit better really. It’s awesome.”

Berlin is a surprise new track unveiled and released today by Bear’s Den as a standalone single