Just an 'In Short' album feature today, with Insomniac Bears the focus of attention, a band that emerged back in 2017 and which I won't describe as a 'supergroup', but certainly contain a host of musicians associated with some excellent Norwegian bands, including Team Me, Rumble in Rhodes, Krokofant++, Lukestar and more - the last one of those was a new name to me, and really enjoyed listening to them today.
Anyway we've included Insomniac Bears on our Indie Playlist, but it's great to hear a full album, which they promised would be 'prosperous mix of indie styles' and demonstrate that they're a 'dynamic group drawing on each other's respective pasts', and that's broadly what they've achieved, with a release rich on ideas, interesting instrumentation but based around a nostalgic pop backdrop, with flourishes of different indie styles. And most importantly good tunes. It really is all about the tunes.
Highlights include expansive synth driven pop opener 'See You In Court', whilst inevitably I'm drawn to those tracks which feel more in tune with 90's indie such as '1997', yet still a great mix of styles with a bright catchy melody. 'JS Antibach' takes the album away in another direction, I love the immersive rhythms and complexity of the instrumentation. Maybe 'Burning' is my favourite, laid back until it explodes with an anthemic emotional climax, whilst 'Homecoming' offers an inevitable reflective finish.
'Newfound Sprawl' is in many ways a weighty indie pop album, benefitting from the vast experience of the collective songwriters, imaginative and colourful, easy on the ear yet with enough complexity to listen on repeat. Not all the tracks are quite to my personal taste, but I love the sound they produce and I definitely love the ambition. Hope we get to hear more from Insomniac Bears.
Find them on Facebook.