By Megan Hughes
The cool and charming musical gift that is Brownbear (braunber) is making their wonderful return to our ears tomorrow with the release of their new single one more night. Some of you may have been lucky or committed enough to enjoy a previewed listen through BBC Radio Scotland on Tuesday night. One More Night is their first new release since 2020 and is the first gear of many in reaching the crescendo of momentum for a second album.
This release shows a progression in the bands sound. Gently moving away from their indie rock sounds they have, instead, created this soft indie pop-come soul sounding record which is littered with occasional whispering grips of gravel falling through Hickman’s tone.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tuning into any of Matthew Hickman’s Sunday Socials you shall have heard him chat away very naturally with all of his guests; he has en effortless calming aura which is endearing and makes listening to him relaxing and easy – he has listeners hanging onto his every word in such a fashion that you know it’s natural because this type character just can’t be taught. He translates all of this personality and feel good factor into this single perfectly and I’m not even sure if he had try at doing so.
This single is in a way complicated which I don’t doubt was intentional.
On my first listen I tuned into the musical element of it: I listened for the melody, chord progressions, instruments, crescendos, diminuendos and so forth. My takeaway from that listen was that this song is perfect for the daily walk that we are all, as a nation, being encouraged to take. It is perfect for a breather and a personal time out as it is the musical embodiment of a terrible weight being lifted from your shoulders; of someone in work telling you to get away early and you need not worry as they are resolving everything just as all hell is breaking loose and you were preparing yourself for an all nighter full of headaches. This song feels like the air which birds fly on because it is that refreshingly wholesome.
On my second listen I focussed on his lyrics. The lyrics are perhaps a bit more difficult to describe, perhaps better summarised by Matthew himself – ‘One More Night is the story of a couple not able to accept that the time has come to move on so continue to hold onto something that is no longer there.’ He confesses that the lyrics are true him as when he was penning the single he was in a relationship which neither party was happy in but due to the comfort which was created by the familiarity bred through time it was easier to hold on and co-exist rather than deal with the live situation of the relation in the present. This is heard coming from the depth of his soul in the specific lyrics of ‘one more night won’t kill us but no amount of time will save this love’ – something which many people will be able to relate to as we have all at some point outgrown at relationship at someostr and struggled to bring it to it’s natural conclusion. However, still Hickmans feel good personality seeps in as these lyrics don’t sound angry or bitter, of which I’m sure they could if delivered by someone else, they sound like a quiet thank you and a loving goodbye. A man acknowledging that sometimes life just runs it’s natural course and you need to move with it which means sometimes you can’t stay side by side.
My take on the juxtaposition of music to lyrics is that the contrast was intentional and is a metaphor for the inspiration behind the track. As listeners sometimes we don’t properly listen to the lyrics and take the time to understand them. Instead we focus on and remember the easier parts of the melodies which get stuck in our heads all day long. This is similar to what Hickman talks about when writing the song – we focus on what is easier and simpler.
Whatever your own personal understanding is for this song I’m sure we can all agree its a brilliant jumping off point for the road to the new album.
If, like myself, you are an official fan of Brownbear you shall be pleased to know that next month kicks off their run of 5 headline shows: begining March 12th playing at Greenock Town Hall; Queens Hall in Edinburgh March 16th; a pit-stop in Glasgow to play Stereo May 25th; back to Edinburgh for a gig at Mash House May 26th; finishing up May 27th playing Cafe Drummond in Aberdeen.
Instagram – @brownbear_official
Twitter – @brownbear