Bear Colony is as difficult to classify as any band we’ve ever tried to classify.
First of all, their music is a complicated, genre-crossing amalgamation of shifting influences that is nearly impossible to pin down. Also, they’re not really from anywhere (per se), because the members of the band live in cities scattered across Arkansas (including one Fayetteville resident) and the south.
It’s even difficult to call them a band, at least in the traditional sense of the term. They’re more of a collective, or a group of loosely (or tightly) affiliated artists who create together, when they can, in-between hosts of projects that they are individually involved in. Also, there could be anywhere between six and 12 players (and musical influences) contributing to the sound at any moment.
In other words, you know that popular toy that toddlers play with, made of wood with the different-shaped holes, and corresponding blocks made to fit those holes? Bear Colony would not fit in any of those. Or they’d fit into all of them.
Regardless of what they are, Bear Colony is damn good at what they do.
The best way to understand what we’re talking about is to catch them in the same room together this Friday night, Nov. 16 at George’s where they’ll celebrate the release of their brand new album, Soft Eyes.
The band, at the moment, is made up of Matthew Putman, Vincent Griffin, Lee Actkinson, David Huff, Stephen Tucker, and Fayetteville resident Adam Putman
The new album was officially released earlier this week on their label, Esperanza Plantation. The 13-track album was recorded primarily at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, Okla., but was finished up at keyboard player Adam Putman’s Insomniac Studios here in Fayetteville.
“We also did some of it in our bedrooms, and living rooms on our laptops and computers,” Adam said. “We’ve always passed around tracks that way with the band.”
The album is streaming this week at Spinner.com for free, and in addition to the regular online outlets (iTunes, CD Baby), you can also get your hands on a CD copy ($10) or a 12″ vinyl ($15) Friday night at the show. Plus, you can catch a track from the new record at the latest CMJ Mixtape.
Admission to the album release party Friday night is $5. Silent Waits the Archer and Friday Maybe Saturday will also perform.