Polar Bear’s rapid return with Same As You

Fresh from their second Mercury Prize nomination for last year’s In Each And Every One, Polar Bear are to release their sixth album, Same As You, on 30 March on the Leaf Label. Such was the fast turnaround between the projects, when the band was announced as part of Mercury shortlist last September, bandleader and drummer Seb Rochford was already mixing the album in the Mojave Desert with LA-based producer Ken Barrientos.

Early listens to the album confirm that the unusual desert location has leant Same As You a bigger, spacier edge, with the previous album’s electronica somewhat replaced by dub basslines from Tom Herbert and tough beats, which fuel lengthy sax improvisations from Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart.

The more percussive sound also sees the band dipping into Afro-Caribbean influences on the tune ‘Unrelenting Unconditional’. Rochford and singer Hannah Darling both add chant-like vocals to the tune ‘Don’t Let The Feeling Go’ while Sons Of Kemet saxophonist (and regular Polar Bear dep) Shabaka Hutchings also makes a guest appearance.

The band follow the album’s release with a series of gigs at the following venues: Village Underground, London (8 April); Komedia, Brighton (15 April); Royal Northern College Of Music, Manchester (17 April); Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (18 April); The Kazimier, Liverpool (19 April); Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (21 April); Broomhill Art Hotel, Barnstable (22 April); Colston Hall, Bristol (23 April); and Festival Of Firsts, Brighton (6 July).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.polarbearmusic.com

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