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Album Review // BEARINGS ‘Blue In The Dark’

Heartfelt lyrics and soaring melodies characterise the debut album from Bearings as you’re taken on a tale of personal experience.

Ottawa-based Bearings chronicle their personal experiences on their debut full-length Blue In The Dark, rendering the album full of emotion and honesty. Sonically, it pushes the band’s sound in a way that maintains their signature flare whilst exploring new territory.

There is no doubt that the record is dynamic; opening with Where You Are, it brims with an unpredictable energy that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Mellow verses contrast with a fiery chorus, as catchy vocal hooks repeat themselves and find their way into your head. Continuing with Aforementioned, stick clicks pair with light guitars to create a breezy accompaniment which will make you nod along to the strong rhythmic grounding. Poignant lyrics contrast against this light accompaniment; what appears to be an upbeat track initially reveals itself to hold a deeper meaning upon closer listening, as the lyrics confess “Well, my friend, it’s been quite a year / And I feel right now that I need you here”.

The honest Eyes Closed is a delight with its varying textures, going from airy guitar accompaniments to impactful full instrumentals. The vocal harmonies found in the second verse are simply delightful, and as a pounding bass drum builds up to the explosive chorus, you’ll feel your heart speeding up alongside in anticipation.

Titular Blue In The Dark begins atmospherically, and it’s a slower segment of the album that dazzles in its subtle accompaniment and velvety vocals. Piano tinkers filter through and bring in a lightness to the track, whilst the hypnotic drumming will encapsulate you. Showcasing a softer side to the band’s catalogue, it is indicative of their ability to write a slow song that is equally moving to their up-tempo counterparts.

The narrative-heavy Careless Clarity brings an easiness in its use of acoustic guitar, and as Doug’s falsetto flutters over the chorus, you’ll feel an airiness being brought in that reflecting the carefree nature of the track. Singing “We’ll write our story, we’ll live so careless”, there’s a youthful exuberance that bubbles underneath the surface, hidden behind the charming guitars and crashing cymbals.

Upping the intensity in Goodbye (To All Of Our Friends), the cascade of instruments pierce you with its feelings, and this is doubled by the nostalgic lyrics as Doug repeats “We say goodbye to all of our friends”. An electrifying guitar solo sears through the bridge, and although there’s a bittersweetness in the words of the track, you can’t help but finish feeling stirred by the vibrant instrument display.

Tide charms in its balladic quality, and the fully acoustic nature of the track lends itself to the sentimental touch of the track. Finishing with Love And Decay, Doug sings “I found comfort in the rain”, and in the same way, we can say we found comfort in this album and its ability to string together human emotions in such a way that allows listeners to connect whilst remaining intimately personal to the band. Bearings will certainly find their bearing with this album, and we are excited for what may come in the future.