Bjéar is the work of Adelaide artist Brae McKee, who's been releasing a steady trickle of songs for the past few years, a fact that was unbeknownst to me until recently, when a friend suggested I check out his latest single, "Firefall" (which was released back in October). It didn't take long for me to attach myself to the ambient sound, and it came just in time as his debut album is set to be released at the end of the month (Jan. 28th).
The first thought I had after my initial listen was how much I liked the structure. The build at the start reveals different intentions from where the song ultimately goes, a welcome surprise to say the least. Opening with relaxed vocals over a steady synth, it lures you in with hypnotic consistency. Then, once settled, it ascends to something beautiful by trading in the synths for dream inducing acoustics; once the strings hit you don't have a choice but to close your eyes and drift away. It's one of the better payoffs in recent memory and I can't wait to see where the full record will take me.
He's got a few more originals on his Soundcloud (check out the instrumental cover of "Joy To The World," it's filled with warmth and light). You can check it out HERE. Enjoy!
One more thought, because I couldn't get it out of my head the entire time I was writing this post. Does anyone remember Band of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey's sophomore solo record A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea? I guess it doesn't really matter if you do, it was a solid effort but really the only takeaway was the albums opener, as well as the title track, "A Long Dream."
I wouldn't say the two songs are alike ("Firefall" and this), but I would say they complement each other nicely, especially the acoustics on the back half of the track. The 30 second melody starting at 4:45 is the definition of serenity, and the fact that it's basically hidden between longer arcs makes it that much more special.