Bear Cavalry – Maple Trails

It is definitely something hard to describe these I listen to, as factors become even more difficult to follow. This new equation involves some math rock riffs and time signature changes to then travel without moving to the five continents of this world, bringing motifs and complements that would instantly create merry moments in your senses.

 It is the song titles, and everything about Bear Cavalry that can become a joyous island in the middle of the cold autumn; this island is called Maple Trails and it is the band’s newest EP. It really makes me scratch my head in my attempt to find order, logic or tags to describe this. I’m speechless again, so let’s just start:

As stated above, this is a mix of psychedelic, Latin, math rock, indie pop and rock ideas and riffs, where the only steady and marked style comes from the voice, the owner of a strong personality, developed talent, bright color and unique texture.

There’s always contrast throughout the four songs packed for our pleasure in this EP, as the voice sometimes allows some madness and loses its hold, but will never be out of tune. The band would swirl into scales going up and down, bringing a sensation of full control and dexterity in their instruments, bending them to whatever direction they want to go and delivering flawlessly whatever they want to express, while the voice keeps calm and sometimes brings some juggling to this ensemble. Twists everywhere, then the chorus with one of my favorite harmonies. That’s track 1, ‘Roman Summer’.

After his Roman season, the next song begins with the introduction I’ll hear in the parties where I come from, any minute now then we can expect the newlyweds to come and dance as husband and wife for the first time, ‘compadres‘ included. That image changes to an interesting bass line going straight to a kind of funky style, just amazing and breath-taking. The Latino party continues as the third element of the song to then change to an African chant. The only good thing missing to this landscape is just listening to this song at an actual beach, not the one I’m imagining right now while in the office. This song is ‘Custom Hands’.

It is right in the middle of Maple Trails that I realize: even when this idea changes its shape and seems to go into different states, it would not lose its cohesion as transitions are well marked. The confusing factor may be that such transitions are placed where less expected, but still the flow like a river, to then go down to the waterfall.

‘Will Smith solves the Rubik Cube’, that’s a song title and a fact in Will Smith‘s life. I’ve never been able to solve a Rubik’s Cube myself (sobs). And yes, the song: it all starts with reggae-ish bass and drums. The voice still keeps that tranquility that becomes one of the main hooks of this band’s music; there’s a second evolution to the song that incorporates a trumpet, somewhat giving warmth to the cold middle notes. The fourth part is not related to any of the above parts, but still has a well defined and own personality, as this may seem 2 songs mixed into one.

I got the full sensation of Latino party by the end of Maple Trails (I can’t help it). Trumpets are inviting and the sound of a synthesizer behind, all syncopate, bring images of children playing with that unique carefree attitude we miss as adults. Second part, as the song eases its initial joy and becomes a lullaby, but oh! There is another transition and becomes the to-and-fro of a dance floor, a courageous statement to dissatisfaction. As the song still jumps from one scenario to another, the end is deliberated as a good psychedelic close.

It is almost impossible to describe the style of this band, as I can only feel this is complete freedom, what the band likes the most. It is definitely a collage of styles and notes endowed with the capacity to create happy landscapes, sometimes permeated with doubt, despair. This somewhat reminds me of the Bose-Einstein Condensate (I have been watching lots of documentaries, sorry), as particles of matter “cope with” a kind of “identity problem” and go through the three states of matter all together. Despite this mixed identity, they have become a new element, and a new paradigm.


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