Solar Bears Solar BearsInner Sunshine EP
PLANET MU (ZIQ269, 12” + digital)
Folk music wasn’t always the music of the earth and long beards. Folk music, especially on the British islands, also has much to do with the source of life that makes the earth bring forth plants and colours, which is the sun, and the sun is space and infinity, both astronomically and astrologically. Whether it’s because of the influence of paganism, magic or the presence of Stonehenge on the map, the Saxon and Celtic cultures have always been more mystical than earthly, and those connections can be found in the music scattered with strings and synths made in the last few decades, from Pentangle to Nick Drake, from Mike Oldfield to Bibio. Here we have Solar Bears, an Irish duo –okay, they’re the neighbours, but they have a common heritage– with their roots in Dublin and Wicklow they are not exactly folkies, but neither are they exactly spacey, and who know how to take the best of both worlds to get to a formula the reinvents the wheel of floating music. As has been pointed out in recent weeks as the great hope of the new post- ( excusez le mot) Balearic music, this taster EP for the album to be released in September will gives us more reasons to trust in their powers of hypnotic conviction. They have a lot in common with Canterbury in the way they strum their guitars, with that complicated twist at the end – “Trans Waterfall”, “Photo Negative Living”– and they cover contemporary references with a serene and permanent layer of ambient, which is like the layer of toasted sugar on some desserts: hard at first or unnecessary because of the risk to your cholesterol levels, but at the end it’s the real ingredient that gives consistency and taste to the whole. Lazy music for cloudless mornings: Solar Bears don’t compose, they practice photosynthesis.