WE ALL COME FROM SOMEWHERE: BEAR CARVER "IN THE DOGWOODS" REVIEWED - 7.7

6/12/15
Bear Carver - In The Dogwoods

BitCandy Rating: 7.7

I had to Google what Dogwoods are. I now know that they’re the nickname for the genus Cornus, which has about 58 different varieties. However, I suspect these trees and shrubs are not what’s at the heart of Bear Carver’s debut album, In The Dogwoods. In my mind, the dogwoods are the mythical realm in which this record seems to take place. A spot between growing up and grown up, between what’s going on in your mind versus what’s happening in reality. It’s within these margins that In The Dogwoods seems to operate. The gap between my mind and the real world is where I always seem to find myself living, so this album strikes a particular chord for me.

 

BEAR CARVER “LOVE AND LACK”

Born in the woodland suburbs of Charlotte, Daniel Bryant is a carpenter by trade. His youth was spent roaming the nearby forests and his imagination. His upbringing is at the forefront of his first proper LP, teeming with tales of boyhood adventure, family, spirituality, and Americana. Even as the sole proprietor of Bear Carver, it doesn’t seem right to say In The Dogwoods is his singular vision. This is a record heavily influenced by its surroundings, real and imagined.

Two such influences are indie staples Iron & Wine and Pinback, who act as the sonic godparents of this album. 

 

BEAR CARVER “CLOCKS WITH DUST”

This sort of folksy Americana, brought mainstream by the likes of Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons, Sufjan Stevens, et al, seems like an endangered species. Its time in the spotlight came and went quicker than discos, and it seems to lack a pulse in this age of electronic music. In The Dogwoods isn’t going to reverse any of these trends, nor does it try to. It exists within its own little world, and is all the better for it.

All in all this is a stellar debut record steeped in the past, but still manages to be forward-facing. Even its version of forward seems like a different direction than we’re all looking.  

 

BEAR CARVER “TREE RINGS”

You can stream Bear Carver In The Dogwoods in its entirety over on Spotify.

 

About Calvin Paradise

Calvin Paradise manages to live a productive life despite a childhood of home schooling and suffering from what some doctors have called the worst case of Groucho Marx's Syndrome in recorded history.

Album: