What Starts With A U Ends With An I
So far on The 12 Days of Christmas we have looked at one of our favourite record labels of the year, Art is Hard, and one of our tips for 2014, Doom Squad. Today, we are picking one of our favourite debut EPs from 2013. We like a good EP here at A House Down The Road, as an aperitif that gives an idea of where a band have come from and crucially; where they are headed. But an EP offers so much more than a mere taster; they can and should be a piece of art in themselves, allowing the cohesion of an LP but with a more compelling and powerful impact.
Step forward Brighton’s Us Baby Bear Bones, who have spent the last few years carefully refining their craft, culminating in their debut EP, What Starts With A U Ends With An I. Released by Love Thy Neighbour in June, it was certainly worth the wait. With WSWAUEWAI Us Baby Bear Bones create not only a collection of sumptuous songs but take you on a whole gamut of emotion and sensation. On their own the songs shimmer with undisguised beauty but they are a mere Trojan Horse for something bigger and deeper, something almost transcendental, which reveals itself in the context of the EP as an experience.
The effect another person’s actions can have on your heart is replicated in 20 haunting and beguiling minutes that make the listener feel as though they have witnessed and been a part of an inherent truth. From the opening moments of Mountains the tone is set. Brooding beats mix with dreamy melody and harmonious vocals that flitter about one another like butterflies on a summers day. The highlight is You, combining childlike naivety with a brutal lyrical honesty wrapped up in a magical and spectral aesthetic. It soothes as it spits contempt. Such juxtaposition is a constant theme, and an irresistible one at that
Sonic compersion and empathy surround. With a modern sound that straddles verdant landscapes, textured electronica and dream pop at it’s core is something undeniably raw and human. And that is what makes Us Baby Bear Bones really special. What Starts With A U Ends With An I tells a mesmerising and hypnotic story, a story of love and loss, a snapshot of a period of time that graces and haunts our lives, but also the story of a band perfectly capturing a sound and feeling onto record.