The Bear Romantic



by FyreNail USER (4 Reviews)
November 30th, 2010 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The quick description of TBR's sound would simply be 'a haunting version of the late great Elliott Smith'. But this album requires and deserves much more than a quick description.

As an album released 5 months ago, Firewood by The Bear Romantic has been doing rather poorly. On this present day, most songs have less than 500 views on youtube and there's no trace of TBR on Wikipedia or much anywhere other than his own websites. Therefore, The Bear Romantic is still quite a big mystery. If there were any previous EPs or albums released before Firewood there's certainly no mention of such on the very few places he can be found (Myspace and Facebook pretty much). So I'll assume this is TBR's debut album and quite possibly his debut release too.

The quick description of TBR's sound would simply be 'a haunting version of the late great Elliott Smith'. But this album requires and deserves much more than a quick description. The acoustics are beautiful and classical enough you make you feel like you could fall asleep whilst the vocals are haunting enough not to allow you to. Despite never mentioning them as influences; TBR’s vocals are reminiscent of Elliott Smith or Angus Stone, injected with an empty hall-like reverb. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe, depending on which track you listen to first, the vocalist is female, something I myself am still debating due to tracks like Sparrows and The End.

Firewood is all acoustic, the acoustic guitar sharing just as much spotlight as the haunting vocals. The acoustic guitar has a classical touch to it, whilst remaining very simple, at times perfectly complimenting the vocals and at other times standing out and catching your ear. Other instruments make occasional appearances such as drums, which usually adopt a tribal sound to them, and piano but they are usually uncommon enough to make them seem fresh each time they appear. The drums add great atmosphere and intensity to the songs and sometimes, such as in Kings, give the song an irresistable catchiness.

Is this an album that will change music should it become more mainstream" Unlikely. Some, those who aren't into atmospheric acoustic songs, might even find this boring. But this more than deserves a listen from any and every fan of acoustic, Elliott Smith, Angus and Julia Stone and indie fans. I believe this shows great promise from an almost completely unknown artist and can’t wait for new material already.

user ratings (25)

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November 30th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm aware I'm not the best at reviewing but I did this for the artist rather than to show any skill as a reviewer.

November 30th 2010


Just FYI for you since you were wondering where TBR came from:

The Bear Romantic is one of the many side projects of Jesse Clasen, vocalist for the band Harvard and previously Defending Brooklyn (not as well known). One of his other side projects he is pushing lately is Native Trash. Hope that helps.

PS he is definitely a talented dude.

November 30th 2010


this sounds amazing, and the cover art is freaking cool. will get this.

November 30th 2010


The review is fine. It's short, but there's nothing wrong with that if you say what you need to say. I really need to check this out. Elliott is my favorite musician of all time.

December 17th 2010


Hey guys, i put this record out, Jesse has been a good friend of mine and we started his past project defending Brooklyn together and his latest project native trash is him & I. I've been so busy with lots of projects that I haven't had the chance to push this album like Ive wanted to. I pressed 250 copies on color vinyl and 100 on digipak cd - they are available at very reasonable prices ($10/$5) at - there are plans for shows in 2011 (I'll be playing bass) as well as new music so keep your eyes out. Thanks for the great review & I hope more people have the chance to enjoy this album.

Ps - thanks for the comment on the artwork, I did the photo and design for the release!


April 21st 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

cash record to smash your lady to

Digging: IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance

May 20th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

more people need to know about this album.

September 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

FINALLY found a download of this, and wow I love it. I absolutely love Jesse's style both in Harvard and on his own.

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