Mumford and Sonning
1. To make a second album that sounds decidedly like the first.
2. To be made fun of in a brilliant Lime Champions sketch.
One downside to being a quality folk act during the Mumford and Sons era is the inevitable flood of slightly unwarranted comparisons to Mumford and Sons, which I am not exactly helping. If these bands had a dollar for every comparison that was made, they would have enough for a double bass (how cool are double basses). Despite the similarities to Mumford and Sons, Australia’s gnarliest farmers Boy and Bear have come out and have not Mumford and Sonsified the follow up to their brilliant debut, Moonfire, with Harlequin Dream standing up to Moonfire in most respects, and in some ways even being better, which is by no means an easy feat.
Some aspects of this album make you want to don a hat and go line dancing, but other parts make you want to sit in your room and cry a lot. Harlequin Dream is simultaneously extremely reserved but yet loud, screaming for attention that may not be as forthcoming by some corners as is deserved. Boy and Bear have refined their songwriting to a point where it seems much like breathing to them, which is a sign that they’re only going to get better, a scary prospect indeed.
All the elements of the album just click. Dave Hosking is one of the country’s best vocalists, eliciting a response in the listener much akin to a religious experience. Boy and Bearism. Great name for a religion.
This is definitely a record that teases you. Always set to explode, yet hauling itself in time and time again, recognizing that sometimes it’s best to just play to your strengths and slowly grow, rather than completely change things up and lose your sense of identity. Much like a teenager.
There are no standout tracks on the album, but on the flipside there are no tracks that break the illusion of this album. It manages to maintain a fluidity that is very much understated but omnipresent throughout the whole record. Splitting the two records is basically the relative brashness of Moonfire, versus the personal touches of Harlequin Dream.
Listen to Harlequin Dream. Australia just does it better.
DID YOU QUITE LIKE THAT? LIKE THIS!