Eliza and the Bear didn’t plan to be a band. Not a real band, at any rate. The Essex quintet had no intention of releasing records, never mind making an album. They had no wish to play gigs, let alone tour. When they got together in the autumn of 2011, all five had given up trying to make it as musicians, their teenage dreams of pop stardom crushed by too many five hour drives to play to ten people. It was time, they decided, to return to real life.

Hence, the band began as a hobby, a weekly meet-up of mates now in their early 20s who still loved making music, but only for fun. Which is important to know because it’s key to understanding their sound. It’s why their songs are so joyous and their lyrics life-affirming. It’s why their trumpets are triumphant and their strings soar. It’s why their all-inclusive choruses demand to be sung back, why festival audiences adore them and why their singles have been synced everywhere from Sky Movies, a Masterchef final and the BBC’s Olympics coverage to a cider advert and a daytime TV gardening show they’d rather not discuss. It’s why, whether you know it or not, you’ve heard their music.

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