Polar Bear, the group led by drummer Sebastian Rochford, return in the spring of 2014 with their fifth album. Broad in scope and potent in spirit, their new music is at once more spacious and more intense than their previous work. The first new recordings by Polar Bear since 2010 consolidate a period of prolific and rewarding activity for Rochford which has informed the band’s new direction. Since the release of the acclaimed Peepers, he has been involved in numerous category-defying projects.
In 2012 Rochford embarked upon an ambitious monthly singles club, Days And Nights At The Takeaway, featuring collaborations with a diverse range of like-minded artists including Brian Eno, Spoek Mathambo, Jason Moran, Soumik Datta, Leo Abrahams, LV and Jehst amongst others (a CD compilation will be released early in 2014). In partnership with rapper Jyager, Common Ground took elements from the Peepers sessions and cast them in a very different light. He is an active member of Open Souls and Oriole as well as Shabaka Hutchings’ MOBO award-winning Sons Of Kemet, whose album Rochford also produced. Since the release of Peepers he has worked with a mind-boggling array of musicians, including Rokia Traoré, Yoko Ono, John Paul Jones, Andy Sheppard, Paul McCartney, Beck, Patti Smith, rapper Mikill Pane, Carl Barat, Paolo Nutini, Kit Downes, Suede and Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project.
The Mercury-nominated group numbers a similarly stellar line-up, featuring saxophonists Pete Wareham (Melt Yourself Down, Acoustic Ladyland) and Mark Lockheart (Loose Tubes, APPJAG’s Musician Of The Year in 2010), Tom Herbert (The Invisible) on bass, as well as electronics wizard/guitarist Leafcutter John.
A limited edition 10” single containing two exclusive tracks from the sessions was released in October 2013. The album will be released through The Leaf Label in March 2014.