Brownbear returns after 2018’s ‘What Is Home?’ with their eagerly anticipated second album ‘Demons’

Led by the talented Matt Hickman, a man with a knack for making the bleakest of situations sound like a carnival! Brownbear have in the past supported The Libertines with Matt also doing some tour manager duties for both The Libertines and Kyle Falconer, a role that requires Matt’s level headedness and confident focused attitude, the exact same qualities have delivered Brownbears most polished offering yet!

The 10 track album is led by the first three singles, ‘All I Want’ complete with the classic Brownbear chirpy melody, ‘Close Call’ (Indie Pop meets Motown) and latest release ‘Let Your Guard Down’ an acoustic led track with hints of Imagine Dragons.

What an opening! In truth any of these 10 could be singles, the quality doesn’t seem to drop off.

‘Take Your Time’ is pure Motown, the backing vocals are sublime,  you could be forgiven for thinking it was a Holland-Dozier-Holland arrangement!

‘Telling Stories’ is a ukelele driven, UB40 tinged, chirpy little tune you’ll be singing along to in no time, not even registering that the subject matter is all about two broken souls trying to navigate their way through life.

Title track ‘Demons’ is an apology for the break up of a relationship, displaying Matt’s vulnerability but with a sense of hope underpinning it, while ‘Little White Lies’ is a heartbreaker about addiction and the realisation that we can’t help someone unless they’re willing to help themselves.

‘Melodie’ had me fooled at the beginning o could have sworn it was Oasis’s ‘Half The World Away’

But WOW!!! The last two tracks are something special indeed!

The piano led ‘Spin Another Web’ is a beautiful, poignant, introspective message to yourself to keep going and follow your heart, the song I’m most looking forward to hearing live, it will definitely be a ‘hair’s on the back of the neck moment’ it would be great to hear a choir singing the backing vocals!

Closing tack ‘Unity’ is inspired by the response to the George Floyd murder and how black people in Scotland have experienced racism, Matt’s never been one to shy away from these issues and it’s refreshing to hear him sing so passionately about it here and the perfect way to close the album!

It’s been nearly 5 years since we last had a Brownbear album but it certainly doesn’t disappoint, get on this now!

Standout Tracks – Close Call, Telling Stories & Spin Another Web’

Demons is out TODAY (17.10.23)

Review by Martin Morel