Means To Me is the second full-length under Leslie Bear’s moniker, Long Beard, and her first since 2015’s Sleepwalker. Throughout the record, Leslie explores what constitutes a home—how it extends beyond the physicality of a roof over your head to the comfort of another person. A sense of self, stability or security.
The last four years between records mark a particularly significant and transitional time for Bear. A career move led her back to her hometown in New Jersey long after her friends and peers moved away, resulting in feelings of stasis and nostalgia that shape the album. Reflections on the past are evident in tracks like album single “Sweetheart”, in which Bear considers a past love, where they are now, and her life in relation to theirs.
Bear’s sophomore album shows a growth and maturation in sound from her debut. Co-produced with Craig Hendrix (Japanese Breakfast), the record occupies a dreamlike space that weaves between shoegaze-tinged guitars and upbeat, jangly pop. While still loyal to Leslie’s signature ethereal, melodic guitars and haunting whispered vocal delivery, the fully realized arrangements demonstrate a stunning clarity throughout the album.
The perfect amalgamation between Bear’s ambient-textured loops met with the pristine production and pop stylings of Hendrix’s playing can be heard in album standout “Snow Globe.” The combined reversal effects, seamless transitions, and heartbeat percussion are the language of Means To Me.
What Bear has created with Means To Me is not only a mirror for herself, but also a means for the listener to reflect on what home means to them. Whether Bear has defined a home for herself is left to wonder, as she leaves us with these final lines before the album crescendos into an explosive distorted instrumental and slowly fades: “driving down through our state lines while you dream, I’m thinking of a name to go by.”
Long Beard has joined Double Double Whammy and will release an incredible full-length album Means To Me — Listen to the lead single "Sweetheart."
"Leslie Bear crafts wistful soft rock that sticks to your bones... 'Sweetheart' [is] a pensive dream of falling back in touch with someone who made an impact some time ago." —The FADER
Of the song, Leslie Bear says "'Sweetheart' is a nostalgic song that shifts between the distant past and the present. It's a letter to someone you've lost touch with from a long time ago, finding some small connection to their life with regards to yours- how the thought of them resurfaces every once in a while and how they may have shaped the person you've become while wondering if you've had a similar impact on them. It's a jangly/indie pop song reminiscent of the 90s with a chimey lead guitar that weaves in and out. It's written almost as a stream of consciousness with a heavy daydream mood."
Means To Me is available for pre-order now!
The limited edition "Bone in Clear" LP is limited to 300 copies.