Leslie Bear is a New Brunswick, NJ-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who writes, records and performs as Long Beard.With the release of her full-length debut, 2015’s Sleepwalker, Bear emerged into the national scene for crafting thoughtful and shimmering dream pop — and for an album that thematically explored what constitutes a home: particularly how it can extended beyond the physical quality of its roof and four walls, to the comfort and familiarity of the people in it. And how all of that can influence one’s sense of self, stability and security.
Four years have passed since the release of Bear’s Long Beard debut and that period marked a significant, transitional time for her: a career move lead her to return to her hometown, long after most of her friends and peers have moved away. And as a result, the feelings of stasis, nostalgia and confusion have deeply influenced the material on her forthcoming Craig Hendrix-produced sophomore album Means to Me. Slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Double Double Whammy Records, the album reportedly will mark both a major bit of artistic growth and maturation in her overall sound, aesthetic and approach with the material nodding at jangle pop, dream pop and shoegaze paired with her ethereal vocals.
Means to Me‘s latest single “Sweetheart” is a shimmering bit of 4AD-era jangle pop paired with a soaring hook, delivered with a growing self-assuredness — but the song is underpinned by a wistful and bittersweet nostalgia over a lost relationship that lingers in your present. “‘Sweetheart’ is a nostalgic song that shifts between the distant past and the present,” Bear explains in press notes. “It’s a letter to someone you’ve lost touch with from a long time ago, finding some small connection to their life with regards to yours- how the thought of them resurfaces every once in a while and how they may have shaped the person you’ve become while wondering if you’ve had a similar impact on them. It’s a jangly/indie pop song reminiscent of the 90s with a chimey lead guitar that weaves in and out. It’s written almost as a stream of consciousness with a heavy daydream mood.”