The sweeping new album by Pleiades & the Bear is in many ways an avatar for its brief history. The Omaha indie folk outfit release 1977 in May, two years after songwriters Karmen DeLancey and Victoria Blodgett were first introduced by current bandmate Jonathan Knobbe. As the two started to write, they began the search for more — instruments, harmonies, influences — and have not since looked back.
“I think you’re always questioning what’s the next step for your sound and your progression,” DeLancey says.
As the pair explains it, the wheels of their next steps appear to turn in their heads, but 1977 finds what is now a five-piece band stretching into its potential. The arrangements are as sprawling and vibrant as the songs are emotional, injected with electric guitar and stirring rhythms. DeLancey sings with passion and desperation, complemented beautifully by Blodgett’s measured calmness. And still present are the folk adornments, banjo and acoustic guitar and harmonica brought over from the band’s debut EP.
DeLancey and Blodgett met up Hear Nebraska just days after releasing 1977 to talk about busting through a creative block, merging the band’s diverse tastes and why “more is more.” Watch the interview below.
“Winter’s End” appears on Pleiades & the Bear’s debut LP 1977, out now.