“We’ve become slightly nocturnal creatures, usually rolling out around midday,” says Boy & Bear vocalist and guitarist Dave Hosking, who happens to be the first member of the Australian indie-rock six-piece to regain consciousness after a show in Montréal.
“I’ve got coffee brewing. I’m a happy man,” he laughs, insisting he wasn’t woken up for the interview.
The group is in the midst of its Get Up and Dance tour, in support of Harlequin Dream, which was released in August 2013 and went on to hit No 1 in Australia.
Harlequin Dream, a collection of tracks that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside Fleetwood Mac’s catalogue, was the start of an evolution of sorts for Boy & Bear, though Hosking hopes that description isn’t too dramatic. He notes that while Boy & Bear’s debut album Moonfire did well at home, it didn’t have the success the group had hoped for overseas. The band, which was heading into Harlequin Dream with a new bass player (David Symes) and new management, chipped away at recording the album over an eight-month period at a small studio in Sydney until it was satisfied in the finished product.
“It felt like we had our hands on every brick,” Hosking recalls. “We were really working well together and knew what we wanted to create, and I don’t know, there was a sense of getting to the end of that and feeling like we’d taken a big step forward in terms of the sound we wanted to move toward as a band.”
Boy & Bear is already looking towards its next record and has begun work on new tracks. Hosking says the group’s material will continue to embrace the old-school melodies that have shaped its previous work while pulling the style into the 21st century. What that sounds like exactly, he’s not sure, but feels the picture is becoming clearer. What fans can expect, though, is pop that breaks the bubble-gum formula and relies on vintage-style guitar tones and subtle melodies in the vein of Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas & the Papas and the like—that and songs that will be ideal for driving with the windows down.
“I love listening to music in the car—that’s my favourite space,” Hosking adds. “Your focus isn’t entirely on the music, it’s just sort of there with you. I think I’m more and more writing for that space. I’m writing that sort of groove … it’s not a ballad and slow, but it’s not like foot-in-the-floor sort of stuff. It’s kind of right in the middle and I think I really love that. It has an understated energy to it.”
Sat, Oct 25 (8 pm)
Starlite Room, Sold out