If the whimsy and melancholy of growing up had a soundtrack, Belgium’s The Bear That Wasn’t might provide it. As a matter of fact, Nils Verresen takes the name for his solo, acoustic folk project from a rather somber and reflective children’s book of the same name.
In the book, a bear awakes from a nap to find that humans have constructed an industrial complex around him. He is unable to fit in, both with the humans and with the bears. The book also spawned an animated short film, both of which were created by Looney Tunes cartoonist Frank Tashlin.
It’s clear upon listening to Verresen’s debut And So It Is Morning Dew that his project’s namesake is a perfect fit. Verresen spins yarns about the awkwardness of moving from the dreamlike landscape that comes with childhood imagination to the loss of innocence that adolescence and adulthood thrust upon us.
Though not all the messages are sad, the sound is always hefty. Strings, or chimes, or dramatic drumrolls, or banjo strums add weight even to Verresen’s cheerier musings. At first blush, he brings to mind acts like Radical Face or Freelance Whales. Give him a listen, and I think you’ll end up with a smile on your face. Or a tear in your eye. Either way, you’ll be moved.
Buy And So It Is Morning Dew here.
“Headphones” By The Bear That Wasn’t (From And So It Is Morning Dew, out now on Friendly Man’ Set Up)
“Fizzy Good (Make Feel Nice)” By The Bear That Wasn’t (From And So It Is Morning Dew, out now on Friendly Man’ Set Up)
“Next Stop, Disneyland” By The Bear That Wasn’t (From And So It Is Morning Dew, out now on Friendly Man’ Set Up)