The Moonbears. Let’s get nice with… In words.

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Neil Kulkarni, yeah? His band from Cov, yeah? 

“Yes.”

Expecting some heavy-duty rap polemic, dude. Some righteous full-on diatribes vs iniquity and injustice and the Social Way.

(Sighs): “Yeah?”

Or perhaps some blistering bluster rock, like Foo Fighters.

(Heavy sigh): “That’s an old and very obscure joke now.”

Wasn’t expecting this.

“Yeah? So you failed to watch his band charm with their pastoral psychedelics in Brighton several, several years back? All gone, wiped from your mind ‘longside the Incident of the Morning Clinking and Various Conversations about Arses? Fuckhead. Kulkarni, as anyone will tell you who knows him, ain’t like that in person. He’s a sweetheart, a granddad, a teacher struggling to get by like many of us, maybe more than some of you. He cares. He cares too much; hence the venting and the diatribes online and disgust with The Process and lack of empathy for those who pursue the mediocre just to make money. You didn’t expect this? How could you not expect this? You must’a known, could’a shown, can’t’a forgotten that he and his fellow Moonbears – the clue is in the name – create gentle, soothing, sweet early 1970s-sounding poetic Christmas music for springtime, tempered by saxophone and clarinet into even more calming shapes. It’s balm. It’s a panacea sure, but it’s also balm. It’s…”

Yeah, but he sounds like Damon fucken Albarn on ‘Up All Night’.

“So? How is that an insult? You jealous? It’s his voice, his own voice. The way he sings. Maybe it’d be more accurate to say Allbran sounds like Kulkarni, such a chameleon that man can be. He sings softened, caring.”

What, like he’s sensitive?

“Yeah. Sensitive. That’s a good word. This is sensitive music, alert to life’s subtle changes and cavernous swings. In love with some of that old school AM radio soft rock – the tricksy kind, not the floor-shakers – vaguely prog but if there was ever a sense the description could be used positively… prog the way Robert Wyatt is prog or the way Neil Innes is prog. Listen to ‘Agent 4 is Summoned in Green Ink’ from the new album. Music in love with the ephemera of pop culture, lilting and lifting and finding solace in the everyday sadness of people’s idiosyncrasies. The music soars in a way that does not recall Mercury Rev’s Disney charm. (There is nothing about The Walt here.)”

(Pause)

“Fuck, do you KNOW how intimidating it is, to try and describe music from Neil Kulkarni’s band?”

Y’r doing a pretty fucken bad job of it. Clumsy device too.

“Thank you. Music to lose your tup’pence to. I’m done.”

Thank christ. Nice drumming, too. And the guitar is to melt for on ‘All Told’. Classy thoughtful music, not like some hacks I could name. I’m thinking Annette Peacock. Reminds me warmly of this somehow.

“…wait. And you dare criticise ME for my writing? Wow. Just wow.”

Hear more here. Or click on this video, though this is rather noisy for the ‘bears.

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