Originally formed in Somerset by twin brothers Ivan and Frazer (lead guitar), the China Bears line up was completed after meeting James (bass) and Dean (drums) at university in Guildford.
If melodic diligence counts for anything, China Bears are masters of their arty leftfield craft. Through a series of terrific tours and exquisitely-balanced EP releases 'I've Never Met Anyone Like You', 'Statue Still' and 'All That Distance', they have displayed an innate ability to blend the alt.rock rush with the acoustic hush.
Rousing and romantic, debut album ‘Participation Trophy’ (set to release on 12th July 2024 vis Fierce Panda Records) feels cinematic in its grandeur, whilst also feeling incredibly personal in its storytelling. It was recorded in the autumnal sunshine of Leith with Rod Jones from Idlewild at the production controls. From the driving ‘I Will Break My Own Heart’, the twinkling ‘Beck and Call’, the electric force of ‘Total Communication Breakdown’ to the blossoming ‘Gracie’, there is a song to accompany everyone’s own life soundtrack.
Whether it’s ripping apart the stage with their misery-anthemic indie or captivating the room to pin drop silence singing their songs shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the crowd, China Bears have gained recognition for their emotive high energy and intimate performances which have drawn knowing comparisons to The National, Death Cab For Cutie and Frightened Rabbit.
One of the most prolific sets of songwriters in the country" - Steve Lamacq, BBC 6
“could they do a snow patrol and go mega? It’s very possible you know” John Kennedy, Radio X
"The group sounds fully in command of a big, vibrant sound that calls on its influences — just about any anthemic indie-rock band of this century — while still sounding distinct." - NPR
“Their sound unfurls as a package of unfaltering songwriting with whispers of The National and Dry The River...Brimming with astute and sophisticated songwriting and enhanced by racing riffs and compelling percussion, it toes the line between thought-provoking and euphoric." - Gigwise