“Powerful, beautiful noise” is how brothers Matt and Alex Georgiou summarise the sound of Birmingham rockers Bear Witness, who we first introduced you to in our New Music Friday round-up a few weeks ago.
The trio, completed by bassist Liam Mead in 2017 for the release of debut EP Dreams of Fame, have honed a delicious alternative-rock sound over the last few years, which culminated in Perfect Living a few weeks back. As Matt explains: “The band was made from a desire to write songs that had a real focus on the songwriting, all egos put aside and a pure attempt to create songs that were really special.
“Too often songs are written with their complexity or how impressive they are to play as the measurement of their quality. We wanted to make a band with the purpose of making songs that really connect with people, sound good and hopefully, 20 years from now, songs we can be proud of creating.”
Latest track Perfect Living sees the band’s rockier side come to the fore. It opens up with a light guitar riff and drums that are soon joined by Matt’s vocals. It suddenly bursts into a big singalong chorus of “It’s so got much time anymore, Makes me hurt” over big distorted guitars. It’s a powerful, rocky, emotional track that has strong Nothing But Thieves vibes about it.
On the track, Matt tells us: “Perfect Living is an up-tempo, bouncy and aggressive track. We wanted to go bigger, darker and more powerful with the new EP and we think Perfect Living represents that as a singular song very well. Our aim was to create a song that would make you feel like smashing through walls as well as dance around like an idiot.
“We spent a long time writing and recording, we also put a great deal of effort into the music video. We wanted to create a video that would stand alone without the music as an exciting piece of art. It’s actually the first part of a three-part story that we’re releasing alongside the singles of our EP DAWN, which will be coming out this summer. We tried to create a mini film inspired by our love of sci-fi movies like Bladerunner and Star Wars that could go with the EP.” Check out the video below:
There’s a real diversity to the Bear Witness sound, from the raw rockiness of Escaping You and the lively Could One Be You to the more laid-back, chilled out Broken Thoughts.
But a personal favourite is Liquid Diamond, which opens up with a cool little guitar lick that continues under Matt’s big vocals. It picks up pace with bigger guitars under Matt’s vocals “We all just run around, Not knowing what to do, But once I see you now, And it’s true, You make things beautiful.” And that feeds into a cool chorus of “And it looks just like Liquid Diamond, And it feels just like Liquid Diamond, And it seems just like Liquid Diamond, And it feels just like Liquid…”
The rockiness increases after the second chorus with bigger guitars, then drops into the light guitar lick under Matt’s laid-back vocals to close. Check it out below:
The band’s sound is honed on strong rock influences like Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park and Incubus, with sprinklings of Highly Suspect, Nothing But Thieves, Twenty One Pilots and The Weeknd adding to that over the last few years.
As Matt says: “We often describe our sound as Beautiful Noise. It comes from the two aspects of our band: we love making a lot of noise with monstrous drums, earthquake inducing riffs and cinematic choruses; but we also prioritise writing beautiful melodies. We always test our songs acoustically to see if the song itself is good as it’s very easy to get over-excited with distorted guitars and loud drums. We smash those two sides of us together to create our blend of beautiful noise.”
While their musical inspirations are many and varied, as Matt explains: “It’s quite a few things, to be honest; it can be a band I’m listening to, events happening in my own life or outside of it, a powerful film, there’s too many to name really. A lot of the time one of them will act as a catalyst to begin writing and then all of them will act together in different amounts to finish the song. Some songs can take years to finish and so all sorts of things will influence them over that time. Generally, I’ve just always written songs, I can’t really imagine life without it really, whether any of them are any good is a different story!
“The lyrical themes vary from social commentary to love to inner turmoil. More recently, the lyrics have been a lot darker, it goes with the music really, a serious look into the darkest aspects of your own mind and how life can make you feel. I think everyone has different emotional weights that they carry around with them, often keeping it just to themselves. I’m hoping the lyrics can connect with these struggles really, struggles that all have similar ramifications of bringing us down; they can just come in different forms.”
The band will be releasing their second EP DAWN this summer and they’d like you to know they have a limited edition A2 poster of the Perfect Living cover art currently for sale. Head to their Bandcamp page for more info.