China Bears ‘Statue Still’ (Fierce Panda Records)


Fierce Panda Records

China Bears consist of twin brothers Ivan (guitar / vox) and Frazer (guitar) alongside bassist James and drummer Dean. ‘Statue Still’ is their brand new single, released on August 14th and taken from their forthcoming EP of the same name, their second such release on fierce panda. A chunky indiestrop hoedown with some suitably seasonal pounding rhythms, in essence ‘Statue Still’ represents the perfect giant summer festival anthem for a summer with no giant festivals.

One of the many, many casualties of the Covid 19 impact on SXSW ‘20 – they were due to play several official SXSW slots in March as well as other key shows in Austin – China Bears were then supposed to find some solace playing a springtime tour of the UK…which then got rescheduled for September…which has is now being re-rescheduled for spring 2021 with more dates to be announced soon (show details below).

For the lucky, lucky people who’ve already experienced the heroically intimate China Bears live show or fallen for their emotively sumptuous ‘I’ve Never Met Anyone Like You’ EP from August 2019, the muscular musings of ‘Statue Still’ will come as cool, cool comfort in these thunderously baffling times. As with previous springtime single ‘I’m Not Eating Like I Used To’, a punchy production has added a salty intensity to their emo-esque deliberations.

“’Statue Still’ is written about those initial stages of loss and healing,” explains singer Ivan. “For me it’s like the feeling you get after you watch a great film in the cinema. The film is over and you now have to go home, but you just want to stay in that theatre and be in that world for a little while longer. You’re aware it’s over but you didn’t want it to end and you weren’t ready, so you’re just stuck in that in-between. You can’t stay forever though, and it’s better to walk yourself out than the ushers coming to remove you.”

Such is contemplative life with China Bears, a band which fundamentally proffers proper music for proper music lovers. During the rockdown lockdown they have still been keeping themselves busy online, delivering sessions and sentiments alike for the likes of Louder Than War, SXSW and the Hanwell Hootie, as well as BBC 6music’s Recommends Day, during which Steve Lamacq played out a vividly hushed live version of ‘I’m Not Eating Like I Used To’.

Before cuddling up to fierce panda China Bears had already self-released three singles in ‘Meet Me In London’, ‘Hydra’ and ‘Night Calls’, earning airplay from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, John Kennedy on Radio X and Melita Dennett via BBC Introducing in The South along the way. Along another way they’ve supported Genghar, The Districts, To Kill A King, The Howl & The Hum, Declan McKenna, The Big Moon and Blackwaters and kicked off 2020 with a Pandamonium headline show at Dalston Victoria as well as tour dates with Scottish comeback boys Geneva and West Country compadres October Drift.

‘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

‘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 




Statue Still artwork