| A sublimely hysterical fierce panda one sheet
The Act: CHINA BEARS
The Release: ‘SUNDAY’
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: MAY 31ST 2019
The Digital Link: orcd.co/chinabears_sunday
The Truth: China Bears were formed in Somerset in 2015 by twin brothers Ivan (guitar / vox) and Frazer (guitar). The line-up was completed after meeting bassist James and drummer Dean at university in Guildford later that year. ‘Stay For Good’ was their barnstorming first single on fierce panda earlier in 2019 and the follow-up sees a suitably dramatic gear change as ‘Sunday’ slows the pace with its languid guitars and deadpan beats. At least until the stadium-sized lift-off occurs around two minutes and 29 seconds in…
While the pace may be down the creative passion remains undiminished, as guitarist Frazer candidly explains: “’Sunday’ was written about one particular Sunday afternoon. I had just moved away from home to university and had become extremely isolated and insecure in myself and my abilities, and on that day it was a little too much. I think everyone goes through that feeling at some stage, circumstances cause friendships and relationships to change and you can feel like people aren't there for you anymore.
“Like all of our work it's very honest and seems bleak but looking back I think it's quite hopeful. Its understanding I was struggling and being lucky enough to have someone there to confide in. I remember it being quite a quick writing process but it took a while with extensive sessions to get it sounding how it is now.”
And the way ‘Sunday’ sounds now is…well, pretty darned sensational: painstakingly intimate, but enormously approachable with a sublimely sub-hysterical hook which goes: “Good God it’s a Sunday afternoon / What are you doing on the kitchen floor again?” It’s like a proper old school emo classic by a properly humble band nodding sagely at The National, Dry The River, Frightened Rabbit and Snow Patrol, for China Bears create misery-strewn indie anthems combining ambient guitars, choral vocals and raw lyric writing, all of which is evinced by their splendid forthcoming summertime EP.
Happily China Bears have already self-released three slinky tracks, ‘Meet Me In London’, ‘Hydra’ and ‘Night Calls’, earning airplay from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Steve Lamacq on BBC 6music, John Kennedy on Radio X and Melita Dennett via BBC Introducing in The South. Along the way they’ve had notable support slots with acts such as Genghar, The Districts, To Kill A King, The Howl & The Hum, Declan McKenna, The Big Moon and Blackwaters.
Recent live shenanigans have seen springtime appearances at Soma Fest, at the Social for fierce panda’s 25th birthday party, and at a packed showcase in the seaside chaos of The Great Escape. Next up come these shows here:
May 18th AYLESBURY LIMELIGHT THEATRE
June 1st LONDON HIGHBURY THOUSAND ISLAND (w/ No Hot Ashes)
June 8th HEADLEY HYFEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
June 15th DERBYSHIRE WILDSIDE FESTIVAL
June 28th EASTBOURNE TJ’S
July 20th CHELTENHAM FROG & FIDDLE
August 16th FARNHAM WEYFEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
"A bunch of strong sounding melodies" Steve Lamacq, BBC 6music
"Such good song-writers" Melita Dennett, BBC Introducing South
"Brilliant, I wish I sounded like that at my stage of their career" Frank Turner