Bear’s Den, a London trio, have released their second EP Agape, the first widely available record of theirs as their first EP was only available at the almost non-stop barrage of shows they played all throughout the UK. Agape is released through Communion records, which was founded by Mumford & Son’s Ben Lovett and Bear’s Den member Kevin Jones. The term “Agape” is an Ancient Greek word for “true love”, and the bands reasoning behind this choice resonates through this record.
The EP begins with the title track, an easy flowing folky tune, a chirpy guitar always present despite the lovelorn lyrics. “I’m so scared of losing you/ and I don’t know what I could do about it”. The track is a perfect set up for the sound and themes running through the record, not to mention relatable to the masses.
While midway track “Mother” may be thought at first to be a ballad to a band member’s mother, the Lumineers-esque sound help tell the story of a distressed parent going mad and her son being nowhere to be seen, a whole new take on a love song.
The record ends with “A Year Ago Today”, a song as reminiscent as the title suggests. In keeping with that, the song comes off more maudlin but still holds that established Bear’s Den sound up high.
Agape is full of songs about love, but they are not love songs. The exploration of this through the personal experiences being poured through Andrew Davies fragile voice is something experienced by everyone, yet Bear’s Den have somehow created a harmony of stories, sounds and lyrics.