Boy and Bear Bring Tranquility to Manhattan

By Dyanna Fleites-Cruz, Contributing Writer

If you’re looking for some new indie-rock music infused with folk and blues, look no further; Boy & Bear belong at the top of that list. If their charming Australian accents don’t pull you in, their music will. Straight from Sydney, Australia, this indie-rock folk band filled the Highline Ballroom on Oct. 11 with an incredible stage presence and a full, strong sound.

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Photo by Anna Letson.

After our interview with Killian Gavin, lead guitarist, the bar was set pretty high for their show. Gavin had hinted towards a wide array of their songs that featured much more maturity and professionalism due to how many shows they had gotten under their belt by now. The themes will certainly be something to look for in their new album “Limit of Love.” Since this album was recorded on a standard 1960s tape recorder without any computer editing, it was exciting to finally see how raw and real the band’s sound and energy was on stage.

When first walking into the venue, the audience was much like the house music; relaxed and ready to go with the flow. Unlike some concerts, there was no pushing or shoving. Instead, audience members were seated on couches or standing near the front of the stage, calmly drinking and waiting for Boy & Bear to come on.

From the moment the band stepped onstage, sporting casual button-down shirts and beers in hand, it was clear that this show was meant for everyone to unwind and enjoy the music. Their stage presence felt indie rock band, while their music was along the lines of a country artist. This combination for even the slower songs to keep the audience interested and engaged. With flowy bass, a relaxed drum line and a definite blues influence on the keyboard, the crowd could dance to their music with a feeling of freedom and tranquility. The effect was very Woodstock-esque.

They opened with “Old Town Blues,” a very bluesy, Tame Impala-sounding song. In fact, Boy & Bear could be best described as a slowed-down version of their Australian contemporaries, though with more folk and blues in the mix than the usual rock. They included an acoustic guitar with the electric to mellow down the sound.

When they got to “Feeding Line,” their earlier style  that were catered more towards folk as opposed to blues came through, making for a diverse set. They ended with “Southern Sun,” probably their most popular song. The track begins slow and ultimately builds up to a song that creates a state of tranquil timelessness.

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