| A dolly happy fierce panda one sheet
The Act: CHINA BEARS
The Release: ‘JOLENE’
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: OCTOBER 9TH 2020
The Digital Link: orcd.co/chinabears_jolene
The Truth: As opening lines go, “Sat listening to ‘Jolene’, both crying in our underwear,” takes some beating when it comes to emotional set-ups and inevitable let downs. But then again, precious alt.rock quartet China Bears have never been ones to hide their heartfelt light under the nearest blushing bushel. ‘Jolene’ is their third thumping single release of this curiously warped year and is taken from their forthcoming second EP, due early 2021.
Much like its lockdowned predecessors ‘I’m Not Eating Like I Used To’ and ‘Statue Still’, ‘Jolene’ is a lean, lithe indie mini-drama, as you may expect from a band lovingly compared with Death Cab For Cutie, The Walkmen, Snow Patrol and The National last time around. “’Jolene’ was written about facing the difficulties of separation and the vulnerable positions we tend to put ourselves in for one another,” the band reveal. “It's sort of making light of the pain that comes with healing, but at the same time feeling proud you were able to give your all to someone, even though it doesn't work out sometimes.”
And so contemplative life continues with China Bears, a fourpiece who fundamentally proffer proper, honest music for proper, honest music lovers. ‘Jolene’ may not be an updating of the Dolly Parton country classique, but the Bears put their reworking skills into good use for the fierce panda Covid Version Sessions, when they marked the passing of Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger by delivering their own take on ‘Hackensack’, for release later this year.
During the rockdown lockdown they have been keeping themselves busy elsewhere, delivering sessions and sweet sentiments alike for the likes of Louder Than War, SXSW and the Hanwell Hootie, as well as BBC 6music’s Recommends Day, during which Steve Lamacq played out a vividly hushed live version of ‘I’m Not Eating Like I Used To’.
Back in a different contemplative life China Bears kicked off 2020 with a Pandamonium headline show at Dalston Victoria as well as February tour dates with Scottish comeback boys Geneva and West Country compadres October Drift. One of the many, many casualties of the Covid 19 impact on SXSW ‘20 – they were due to play an official panda showcase at Edwin’s on March 20th as well as other key shows in Austin – China Bears were then supposed to find some solace playing a springtime tour of the UK…which then got rescheduled for September…which has now been re-rescheduled for spring 2021 like these gigs here:
MARCH 4TH 2021 BRIGHTON HOPE & RUIN
(+ Wild Cat Strike)
MARCH 5TH GUILDFORD BOILEROOM
(+ Moon Panda + Softer Still)
MARCH 11TH 2021 LONDON HACKNEY SEBRIGHT ARMS
(original Servant Jazz Quarters tickets still valid)
MARCH 12TH BRISTOL THE LANES