Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, a new Billboard series where we highlight a musician who has recently made his or her debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is British folk rock band Bear’s Den, who debuted at No. 44 on the chart dated May 11 following the release of their third LP, So That You Might Hear Me.
Bear’s Den isn’t the same band it was when it formed in 2012. The London-based group’s debut album Islands was heavily acoustic and felt distinctly folk pop, while its second studio album Red Earth & Pouring Rain from 2016 ventured into rock territory with experimental sounds and heavy synths.
And while the British folk band’s sound has changed since its humble beginnings, it’s an evolution that is clearly working out for them; their latest album So That You Might Hear Me dropped April 26 and has notched a No. 83 spot on the Top Album Sales chart and No. 7 on the Heartseekers Album chart. Likewise, the band is propelled onto the Emerging Artists Chart at No. 44.
The project’s title takes its inspiration from a lyric in the wistful ballad “Blankets of Sorrow,” and gets to the core of the album’s theme: the need to be heard and the longing for meaningful human connection.
“I think we’ve always been interested in trying to tell stories with our music and to write songs that have layers to them and carry a deeper meaning,” the band tells Billboard.
So That You Might Hear Me continues the band’s rock trajectory while staying true to its folk roots. Bear’s Den effortlessly blends acoustic sounds with modern synthesizers on many of its tracks, such as “Laurel Wreath” and “Crow,” giving the album a modern but deeply emotional feel.
“Our dream with our music is to move people,” the duo adds. “That can be moving someone to dance or to cry or anything but to make something that is beautiful and carries a sense of depth and meaning to it too.”
Learn more about Bear’s Den below.
Members: Andrew Davie (lead vocals, guitar) and Kevin Jones (vocals, drums, bass, guitar)
Recommended Bear’s Den song: “Laurel Wreath” and “Crow”
Passion outside of work: “Encouraging young men to speak more about their mental health is something we feel incredibly strongly about. The statistics in the U.K. regarding young male mental health are quite frightening. We played a benefit concert recently in support of a charity called CALM. They offer professional counseling over the phone round the clock for men who are struggling with depression. It felt really good to support a cause we are so passionate about.”
What’s next: “We’re so excited to be back in the U.S.! We’re on a six week tour of the States right now and it’s already been so much fun. We just played in Austin and then Dallas last night and are heading to Nashville. Once we finish up this tour in L.A., we head straight into a busy summer of European festivals before heading back out around U.K./Europe for another headline tour in November. Hopefully we’ll be back in the States early next year, with some more recording in there somewhere as well.”