Single Review | Close Call | brownbear

Following an intimate tour across the country, indie rock band brownbear have released their second single of the year Close Call.

For those who haven’t been acquainted yet, brownbear is the critically acclaimed musical pseudonym of Ayrshire talent Matt Hickman. Musically active for most of the past decade, brownbear carry an impressive back catalogue of tunes and merits such as supporting big name acts like The Libertines and selling out many headline show themselves.

However, for the past couple of years, it’s all been a little quiet for brownbear. New single, Close Call reflects on that period where creativity fizzled.

“It’s our lifelong dream to be making music and performing but when reality hits, it can become like a job. You become jaded. I had started to lose my passion for music and felt in a bit of limbo.”

Matt Hickman (brownbear)

Leon Brehony

Cynical yet upbeat, Close Call is a catchy melodic tune characterised by Matt’s uniquely gravely soulful voice. Stylistically similar to the likes of Badly Drawn Boy but with more energy. A very promising indication of what’s to come with next year’s long awaited new album.

The self directed music video is also pretty impressive. It follows Matt seeking motivation from his undeniably cute younger self and happily ending back on stage and in the studio. The video quality demonstrates that Matt is more than just a great songwriter, but a creative visual storyteller. 

Getting into filmmaking really reignited my creative spark and before I knew it, I was listening to music again like I used to. Singing songs because I wanted to. Writing again, for me not because I had to. I wanted this video to capture that journey.”

Matt Hickman (brownbear)

This is simply a feelgood tune with an even better feeling video. It is inspiring and captures the artist block that many will easily relate with. Here’s to a brownbear 2023!

Words by Anne Kelly