Live Concert Photography: Long Beard with Rock Solid and Nathan Bajar 9/26/19
Over the past few months, I’ve written quite a bit about the New Brunswick, NJ-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leslie Bear, the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed indie rock act Long Beard. Now, as you may recall with the release of her full-length debut, 2015’s Sleepwalker, Bear received attention nationally for crafting shimmering and thoughtful dream pop. Thematically, the album explored what constituted home — particularly, how it often extends beyond the physical quality of its roof and four walls, to the comfort and familiarity of the people within it, and how both the physical structure and people within the home can influence one’s sense of self, stability and security.
Since the release of Sleepwalker, Bear’s life has gone through a significant transitional period: a career move led her to return to her hometown, long after most of her friends and peers have moved away. The resulting feelings of stasis, nostalgia and confusion have deeply influenced her recently released Craig Hendrix-produced sophomore Long Beard effort Means to Me. Interestingly, the album marks a major step forward in Bear’s artistic growth and maturation in her overall sound, aesthetic and approach — with the material nodding at jangle pop, dream pop and shoegaze forming a perfect platform for her ethereal and vulnerable vocals.
Bear and her backing band played a headlining, album release show at Baby’s All Right last week that centered around her new album, including the 4AD-era jangle pop-like “Sweetheart,” the slow-burning and spectral, Mazzy Star– like album title track, “Means to Me, and the shimmering existential crisis “Getting By,” as well as older material. The bill featured Montclair, NJ-based indie act Rock Solid and singer/songwriter Nathan Bajar. Check out photos from the show below.
Rock Solid is a Montclair, NJ-based music project that specializes in a deeply personal and carefully crafted guitar pop, centered around its mastermind’s personal experience.