BEAR’S DEN COLLABORATES WITH
PAUL FRITH TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM FRAGMENTS SEPTEMBER 18
REIMAGINED TRACK “NAPOLEON”
DEBUTS, VIDEO OUT NOW
August 5, 2020— Acclaimed U.K.-based band Bear’s Den collaborates with renounced composer/arranger Paul Frith (The xx, Radiohead) to release a new album, Fragments, which is set for release on September 18. In conjunction with the announcement, the band debuts their reimagined track “Napoleon” today; listen and watch the accompanying video HERE. The accompanying video features scenes from the sold-out premiere of Fragments at London’s EartH in September 2018 and features behind the scenes clips of the recording process.“Napoleon,” originally recorded as the final track on the band’s 2016 album Red Earth & Pouring Rain, has been completely re-worked by Frith who also plays trumpet on the song.
“Napoleon” is the second of the reimagined tracks to be revealed for the upcoming album, following last month’s release of “Fuel on the Fire.” The album stems from a specially commissioned show at the end of 2018 that sold-out so quickly the band added two other dates. The Fragments live shows saw Frith rework and orchestrate a number of songs from Bear’s Den’s catalogue with a string ensemble and a classical pianist, adding extra flourishes to some originals while completely pulling apart and reimagining certain tracks, as well as debuting four instrumental compositions. The shows took place at London’s EartH, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Utrecht’s Tivoli Vredenburg. Given the success of those sold-out shows, the band then rerecorded these arrangements at RAK studios in late 2019 with a handpicked group of some of London’s finest string musicians.
Of the project, Andrew Davie of Bear’s Den says, “Fragments was an idea born out of our friendship and numerous collaborations with Paul Frith over the last 10 years. On every record we’ve ever made, Paul has come in and recorded beautiful horn arrangements and helped to push our songs into a more orchestral and cinematic landscape. The idea for Fragments was the idea of both Kev and I letting go and entrusting Paul to break our songs into pieces and build them up anew, focusing on different aspects to them, finding ideas perhaps overlooked before and by writing whole new orchestral arrangements around those fragments of ideas. The hope was that Paul’s new arrangements could shed new light on the songs, bending and refracting and in turn cause different reactions in the music and stir different emotions in the listener… To me, this project is about accepting your own fragility and accepting those cracks in order to find new ways to move forward and rebuild. We feel truly honored to have been able to work with Paul and the incredible players he assembled and cannot wait for you to hear these songs that are all both old and new, broken and renewed.”Frith adds, “I was so excited when Kev and Davie first approached me about this new collaboration. It’s been a joy to explore the sonic richness of Bears Den; reworking their original songs to bring to light rhythms and melodies that have been hiding in the fabric of their music waiting to be found and loved. Throughout this journey Kev and Davie have been so generous in the freedom they have gifted me to explore their brilliant songs. Whilst we’ve called this endeavor Fragments for me there is a wholeness to it—it brings together pop music and contemporary classical, whilst never losing its sense of identity. Music transcends individual styles and is emotive at its heart—my hope is this collaboration will help people connect in a new and powerful way with Bear’s Den.”
As well as his work with The xx and Radiohead, Frith’s works to date include soundtrack composition for BBC’s Horizon 2017 documentary Antarctica: Ice Station Rescue and for the film The Forgotten. His debut symphony Shackleton was recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Frith orchestrated the strings for The xx on their Mercury-nominated 2017 album I See You, has written a collaboration between Ex:Re and the London Contemporary Voices and has worked on all three of Bear’s Den’s albums Islands, Red Earth & Pouring Rain and So that you might hear me.
The London-based band played music in various incarnations before officially forming in 2012. Their 2014 debut album, Islands, earned them an Ivor Novello nomination—the U.K.’s most prestigious songwriting accolade—alongside notable acts Ben Howard and Hozier, while their 2016 album, Red Earth & Pouring Rain, reached #6 on the U.K. album chart. Last year, the band released their third studio album, So that you might hear me, to critical praise both stateside and abroad. The band has sold almost 500,000 records over the course of their career and after four years of nonstop touring has sold over 100,000 tickets worldwide including global festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Glastonbury.
1. Fuel on the Fire
2. Auld Wives
3. Can’t You Hear It In The Silence?
5. As The Clouds Began To Part6. Isaac
7. Fireworks Flashing
8. When You Break
9. Broken Parable
10. Breaker / Keeper
11. Lightning Trying To Put Out A Spark