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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #63 : Boy & Bear : Harlequin Dream






SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #63


2013 was a huge year for me and it resulted in a lot of personal growth and achievement. It didn't come easy and some have said that I failed because the things that I put in place back then are very different to now. I look at it in a way that I achieved what I set out to do and as much as I could from that situation, essentially progressing and evolving into what I am today. I've learnt a lot from harder times and everything up until now, I look at as necessary in order to grow. One day I will be able to give my family the best things, but for now It's all about moving forward each day.


Currently sitting at a desk in a hotel room away from my lovely wife and children as I ponder what to write. Usually I am at home and getting all ready to spin the #sundaydrop. I thought that I would use some of my time late at night whilst away to prep our Spin this week. What an album we have this week for our 63rd Spin from our growing collection - 'Harlequin Dream' by Australian band Boy & Bear. It is nice looking out from my hotel window across the skyline whilst I write this but I do miss my family a hell of a lot. Have you ever been in two places at once before? I just feel that a part of me is here in this hotel room and when I close my eyes, I'm back in our house surrounded by the kids and my wife. I didn't realise how hard it was going to be leaving home again for a short work trip until I left this morning. I don't think our children completely understood that I was leaving for a few nights and I had that feeling that I used to have back in 2013. I guess it's fitting that those feelings of anxiety and melancholy coincide with this weeks spin from the last time I felt this way- weird. We are all adjusting to the different way of life and hopefully it rewards us in the future.


For this Spin I have used the loungeroom set up for a change because I felt like I was using the front room too much. Our loungeroom set up is the bigger one (Sherwood turntable, receiver and 4 x bookshelf speakers). I like this set up but it means that I have to watch more because the children will go grabbing for the tonearm or something else they feel the need to touch.


ALBUMS OF NOTE IN (2013): AM - Arctic Monkeys, Random Access Memories - Daft Punk, Paramore - Paramore, Pure Heroine - Lorde, Like Clockwork - Queens of the Stone Age, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - Eminem, 13 - Black Sabbath, Overgrown - James Blake, Prism - Katy Perry, Save Rock & Roll - Fall Out Boy, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here - Alice In Chains.



Image : Jon Hart (keys), Dave Hosking (vocals, guitar), Killian Gavin (guitar), Dave Symes (bass) and Tim Hart (drums)


 

If you have a copy already of 'Harlequin Dream', then please feel free to place it on your turntable and listen along as we move the tonearm across to the outside groove. By the way, yes I'm back home now and ready to.....

The soft sounds of 'SOUTHERN SUN' start coming through the 4 x bookshelf speakers and was released as a single. Probably one of their biggest songs and as soon as the chorus starts, very recognisable. I like that they have included the lyrics so I can follow along. Check out the music video for this one here. You get a feel instantly of the type of album the band is trying to create here and was one of those that I instantly clicked with. I hadn't seen the music video for this one before but it shows the band walking across some relaxing terrain, all meeting up to jam in the open air. We had a nice dance session today with the kids and love how they get that cheeky smile on their face as soon as they hear the stylus drop. We also found a nice playground today and managed to see all the ducks by the walking track, probably about 10-15minutes south of where we live currently. It was a lovely moment before the expected rain that is coming. Seeing the ducks and the reaction of our children will be forever etched in my mind (or on this time capsule blog in-case I lose my memory). Our daughter (Q) put her hands to her face and said, "Oh no" as the duck jumped from the wall into the water.


'OLD TOWN BLUES' is probably the most fitting song to be played when I go back on the road because it was written at a time when the band were getting a bit sick of being on the road. Also pondering about life in the future where as a parent you want to be a role model and not selfish. It's all about the kids really and I have to keep reminding myself of that. The lyrics of , "Cause I wanna be an old man too. I wanna be a role model to my kids. I wanna teach them how to love but you gotta show me how to live and we're kicking off easy, no, oh oh oh yeah". This album really does pull the heart strings and I forgot how powerful this album was until spinning it again now. If you overthink it whilst listening along, its easy to feel a bit sad. There is nothing wrong with that and sometimes music just shows you how you're truly feeling inside. I'm not sad but realise this is another shift or moment of change that I need to build again. As Night Kat Kiz and I always say, Stage One, Phase One.


My second favourite song on the album, 'HARLEQUIN DREAM' was another single released from the album. It's probably one of those songs that if you put it on, no matter how you are feeling, can have your mood lifted. I love the saxophone at the end of this one and is my second favourite saxophone inclusion on a song. I'm sure you could guess my favourite song (I'll let you reach out to me to find out my favourite). The best lyrics here would be, "and I've been living on my instincts so you better run, you better keep moving along. For it seems I have been wandering far too long". So far what do you think of this album? Let us know on our social pages or down below in the comments. As this song was playing the outro, I was thinking of how far our son has come with his Karate lessons. He has only been to four classes but he has had a real improvement on his focus and loves to re-enact his moves once he gets home. Hopefully he loves it still in a few weeks time.


Another single that was released from the album is up next called, 'THREE HEADED WOMAN' - You can feel that the band were hitting their stride in terms of creativity and passion for what they were writing. There are a lot of influences throughout this album that I'm picking up on - Clapton, Dylan, Morrison, Young to name a few and it makes the album feel timeless. Not sure who they are referring to as the three headed woman, but would love to know the inspiration for this track. It feels slightly darker towards the ends of Side A and that continues with the flow on next track, 'BRIDGES'. The keys of Jon Hart are just superb and that bass of Symes too really adds to the magnetic pull of this track. "It's up to you, honey. So what am I dreaming of now? I got the best now, honey. So what am I dreaming of now?". This album probably has a similar feeling to me as my mum has with her Janis Ian album - we love to listen and sing but it comes with memories and feelings that are both happy and sad. She will know what I mean when she reads this (hopefully having a lovely mothers day with a nice cuppa whilst listening along).


The final song on Side A is called, 'A MOMENT'S GRACE' and it tells a sombre story. Follow along with the lyrics as you listen along to this one. So the reason our MWSP was delayed this week was because I went out with some new friends on a fishing trawler for work. You know its going to be bad when the master of over 40 years experience says, "its pretty rough". I'd say it was between 4-5 metre swell and strong wind that created a choppy 9 hours on the boat. Definitely an experience to say the least and have a tonne of respect for the fisherman/women that do that every week. They were kind enough to give me some fish to take home and I know my dad enjoyed them. I think as the waves hit us, I was channelling the lyrics in this song, "That I am not gonna die this way". Time to Flip the LP over to Side B now.


If you think that you have just put on a Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan album then I'll forgive you, because the start of next song 'END OF THE LINE' has that banjo twang that sounds so nice. Hosking has such a unique voice that seems to go well with anything they write. I can't think of a bad Boy & Bear song across any of their albums and spinning this one today will make me listen to all of the discography whilst I travel next week. Night Kat Kiz has made me a nice cuppa tea (Cup of tea - Thanks Higgins) and it is going nicely with the start of my favourite track from the album, 'BACK DOWN THE BLACK'. I like the start because it is quite different instrumentally to what we have heard so far. Lyrically it is a stand out track and obviously discussing the very real issue many people face, that being depression. This song is about someone going through it and watching someone they love also feeling the dark burden and ability to empathise and persevere. This one is full of sadness and at the same time full of emotional support for people that need it.


Next is a song that musically is a bit more upbeat after the emotion thrown our way from the previous song. Our son (K) is throwing paper planes around the house whilst this one plays and is called, 'REAL ESTATE'. Probably the stand out instrument on this one would be the piano pairing with vocals. I'm excited for their next album that is being released very soon (self titled). I hope the passion for their music shines through and they get more fans because if you have been sleeping on this band, then you have been missing out big time.


'STRANGER' is the next track and showcases Gavin and Symes on guitar and bass, intertwined with the emotive vocals. It builds up to the chorus of, "and you were always looking at me from afar, I can't change. I'm a stranger to my nature. Would you love me anyway, if my head don't talk right? Don't let me down, old man". I could see myself rocking back and forth or tapping along to this one at their live show and if they tour and we can go, they would be one of those bands I think would be amazing live. Maybe a tour with Ocean Alley would be good. If you're reading this somehow Boy & Bear, please make that happen.


The stylus moves around the record and starts playing the last song called, 'ARROW FLIGHT'. This one gives me slight Curtis Harding vibes from his latest album and feels like the song to put on when I land back in Sydney next Thursday and start travelling back home via car. There are some '70s era styles throughout this album and hopefully you have enjoyed the time together this week. Appreciate your loved ones and good music each week and don't be so hard on yourselves. We aren't meant to know all the answers but as long as you keep trying, you will be ok.


Thank you for coming along this week for our 63rd Spin - 'Harlequin Dream' by Boy & Bear. I love this record and will have all of their studio albums as soon as they release their self-titled one in 2023. A very big Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there and hope you felt appreciated by your loved ones today especially.


" The melancholy river bears us on. When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird singing as we pass the osier bed. What are you whispering? Sorrow, sorrow, joy, joy. Woven together, like reeds in the moonlight" - Adeline Virginia Woolf


Until our next Spin, be Kind to folk music lovers and be Kind to your Wax!

 

YEAR RELEASED

2013

PRODUCED BY

WAYNE CONNOLLY

LABEL

UNIVERSAL (ISLAND RECORDS AUSTRALIA)

PRICE RANGE

$50AUD+

SPEED PLAYED AT

33 1/3RPM

ALBUM BEFORE

MOONFIRE (2011)

ALBUM AFTER

LIMIT OF LOVE (2015)

FURTHER LISTENING

NEW SELF-TITLE ALBUM ABOUT TO BE RELEASED BY BOY & BEAR

FAVOURITE SONG

BACK DOWN THE BLACK

RATING OUT OF 5

5

WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE

​1 BLACK LP WITH PRINTED LYRICS ON INNER SLIP. LOVE THE ARTWORK ON THIS ONE AND IT MAKES YOU STUDY IT FOR AN AMOUNT OF TIME

Favourite track/lyric:

"Cos I got the animal, I've got the beast on a leash these days so you don't go wandering back down the black to that awful place. Help is well on its way. You taught me too much to sit back and watch you this way, just to watch you this way"~ Back Down The Black - Side B

TRACK LISTING

LP / SIDE

SONG

TRACK LENGTH

​SIDE A

SOUTHERN SUN

​4:40

OLD TOWN BLUES

3:23

HARLEQUIN DREAM

4:20

THREE HEADED WOMAN

4:02

BRIDGES

4:05

A MOMENT'S GRACE

4:52

LP / SIDE

SIDE B

END OF THE LINE

3:46

BACK DOWN THE BLACK

6:17

REAL ESTATE

2:57

STRANGER

4:57

ARROW FLIGHT

4:21




Boy & Bear performing live




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