SMS #59 | Tuff Bear – Tuff Bear’s Picnic


After an unassumingly jolly intro, the semi-titular Picnic swiftly gives way to a fancy, funky instrumental interlude, drenched in synths, led on by cool chords and peppered with bird chirps and la-la-la’s aplenty, but it’s with How It Feels where things properly get going astonishingly well, being a grooving lucid piece headed by Theo’s sublime harmonies while anchored by a great beat and bassline, and the late addition of trumpets are very much welcomed with open arms.

Talk To You is blissfully chilled out, and bb sway’s accompanying vocals are delightful beyond words, then Theo’s lyrical talents are brought out on full display in Not Very Well, as he convincingly articulates his inner anxieties of trying to confidently show his love without feeling like a fool. The World’s First Trillionaire is another that blooms with silky serene vibes, but the final track Wake Up flips the switch to present a deliciously feisty and infectious dance banger that leaves you in a reeling high.

The Bristol-inhabiting Somerset musician achieves an A grade with his prime debut EP, courtesy of consistently strong singing, appealing writing, an effective mixture of stylistic routes, and just a straight up marvellous production quality from bell to bell.


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