Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Wojtek The Bear - Heaven By The Back Door

When learning that a band was named Wojtek the Bear I must confess I pictured scruffy, flannel-clad players and music in the Americana/country/alt folk vein. "Ferme La Bouche", the initial single from their new album Heaven By The Back Door, was my first hint that my guess was well wide of the mark. After all, sunny, strutting Philadelphia-style soul does not fit anywhere in the Americana/country space, especially with a Scottish accent. Even if I'd been too dense to re-calibrate my expectations after the first single, the following "One Things for Certain" did the job. The song is jewel comprised of glossy '60s pop as it could be re-imagined by '80s New Romantics. For me, was like being gifted with a fresh double espresso and a favorite pastry after my morning run -- it is that good.

And the rest of the album continues to impress. The Glasgow quintet offers a plethora of melodic, soaring, pop and a few more laid back tunes. The arrangements are lush and warm, and the vibe is knowingly sentimental. This is the sort of music that Scots such as Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, among others, have done in the past, but few have done it with this consistency. I understand one shouldn't get one's hopes ahead of reality, but with music this good, Wojtek The Bear may get into heaven by the front door.

Heaven By The Back Door is out now via Last Night From Glasgow, which has become one of my favorite labels over the past couple of years.




Various links for the band and the album

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