Bird & Bear
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Bird & Bear

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Herohill: Sunday Morning Coffee"

I'm not sure I could have found a better fall EP or a better candidate for the old Sunday Morning Coffee section than the debut from Bird & Bear. This Newfoundland folk duo is built on the crystal clear, traditional folk vocals and guitar work of Jillian Freeman and the drum/banjo/drum machine support of Jon Janes (aka - The Mountain and The Trees).

Bird & Bear are about to release their debut EP - Into the Moon - and the overwhelming sensation you get from the collection of folk songs is warmth. Jillian's voice carries over the strums, keep time drums and banjo picks like a smile that lights up the room. We already know about Jon's talent and unique voice, but he's quite happy to act as a supporting player, laying down drums, subtle loops, organ and some killer accordion (and the occasional banjo line) to bolster Jill's classically trained and perfectly delivered vocals.

With all the bands dipping into the classic folk sounds, relying on seamless harmonies and heartache, it's refreshing to hear how Bird & Bear channel classic folk sounds (Old Habits could be stripped from any of your favorite folk records from the last two decades), but use the organ (and every other instrument they can find) and energy to keep the effort sounding fresh. The punchy conclusion to I Won't Go swirls and surges, and floats into the ghostly tones of the accordion driven A Settling of Accounts - a track that lets Jillian show off how effortlessly she jumps into falsetto - but it's the closer that really shows the future of the band.

A Practical Imagination is a seven minute affair that mixes Jillians coffee shop, back porch vibe with a surprising drum machine back beat and barely audible electric guitar that moves in and out of the song nicely. More importantly, it ends the EP on a high that makes you want to listen again. All in all, perfect for a Sunday AM, so do yourself a favor and pick up the EP next week when it comes out.

- Bryan Acker,

Taken from:

- Bryan Acker

"QBiM: Like A Prayer"

I’m getting ready for a trip to Manhattan next week, and I’ve been working feverishly to get some posts in the can for the days that I’ll be away, but it seems that every time I pick up something to listen to and perhaps write about, I’m finding myself thinking, “This is too good to keep until next week, I need to talk about it now”. Such is the case when my new friend Jon Janes (aka The Mountain & the Trees) turned me on to a little project he’s been involved with called Bird & Bear.

Jillian Freeman has the type of voice that sounds like it came down from heaven: smooth as silk, supernaturally graceful, peaceful and calming like a prayer. The six songs on Bird & Bear’s debut EP, Into The Moon are as charming as the young woman who sings them. There is a comforting glow in songs like “The Photographer” and “Practical Imagination” that makes this collection feel intimate and personal, like she’s singing for an audience of you. Janes joins her on banjo, organ, accordion and percussion, while Freeman handles guitars, harmonic, and piano. Together they sound as powerful and tight as an full-on band, much the same way Janes’ other band does (small wonder, since Freeman does double duty as part of the live Mountains & The Trees experience).

Into The Moon is available as of today, and your week (nay, your life) won’t be complete until you’ve experienced it in full. As their Myspace site so succinctly puts it, Bird & Bear: Part Human. Part Animal. All heart.

- Jim DiGioia,

Taken from: - Jim DiGioia


2009 - Into the Moon [EP]



Out of the woods and into the caves of the indie music scene comes Bird & Bear – a duo born from circumstance and love of music.

Bird & Bear are Jillian Freeman (lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and piano/organ), and Jon Janes (percussion, organ, accordion, banjo, vocals and drum machine).

Jillian Freeman is a classically trained singer-songwriter and guitarist who refuses to colour inside the lines. Freeman could be heard singing before she could speak, and she began writing poems and songs at an early age. For many years, Freeman stayed out of the spotlight, with the exception of playing the odd talent show, open mic, or fundraiser. She always dreamed of sharing her immense passion for music with a larger audience. She is pleased as punch to have met Janes – a fellow closet songwriter who shares her vision, and helps breathe more life into her acoustic songs.

Jon Janes is no novice when it comes to music. Better known as The Mountains & The Trees, Janes takes a back-seat in Bird & Bear, happy to support Freeman’s powerful vocals with whatever instrument he can lay his hands on. Coolly and calmly switching between traditional instruments, such as banjo and accordion, to rock-oriented, such as organ and drums, and finally to experimental territory, with the drum machine, Janes adds extra colour to an already solid set of songs.

Bird & Bear seek to create thoughtful indie-folk-rock, with a smattering of electronic experimentation for good measure. Freeman’s poetic songwriting and complex vocal and guitar melodies combine with Janes’ talent for multi-tasking instruments, to create a rich, yet quirky, sound (not unlike their name). Bird & Bear: A powerful songbird perched on the back of a grizzly multi-instrumentalist. A boundless, thoughtful approach to song-writing that is part human, part animal, all heart.

"Into The Moon," the debut from Bird & Bear, was released in November, 2009!