With a lot of industry support behind them already including fans at the BBC, Straw Bear are already climbing up the ranks within the indie folk genre. The London based five-piece have gained praise from 6Music’s Tom Robinson and Dermot O’Leary as well as several rave reviews on music review sites.
They were founded by singer Ian Ray and guitarist Chris Gray, who met at school in their hometown in Cambridgeshire. Later came the arrivals of bassists Cate Wicks and Tom Shipp and drummer Pas Struthers to form Straw Bear. Snobbery is the second single to come from their album Black Bank, the first being Kitty which was also received a lot of radio time. Speaking about Snobbery, singer Ian says:
“If you take the song at face value, it’s just an amusing lyric about a horrible snob whose
girlfriend’s family is a little rough around the edges but on a more general level, it’s about that very strange experience of trying to integrate yourself into somebody else’s family. I think everyone has had that feeling of meeting a partner’s family for the first time and thinking ‘These people are actually insane’.”
The song is a smile-raising, witty track that tells the story of a guy who is very much in love with his girlfriend but has very fixed, negative views on her family. Adopting a folksy style and running along with an indie vocal, Snobbery weaves through a blues-influenced soundtrack complete with a violin accompaniment in its second half. The chorus tells us so much about the character with the words “It’s lucky I want you… We can go so far away that they cannot afford the train to come and visit us”. It’s a cruel dig at her family and expresses the strength of his desire to get away from them.
Snobbery is the perfect title for the song and because of the title, the sarcasm really comes through. It’s not a serious song and it’s quite clear that these views aren’t genuine, hence the self-aware title. As a result, there is a lot of acting and character portrayal which is simply another layer to the song and gives it an identity.
It’s a great chilled summer song and one that will no doubt be popular with a lot of indie-folk fans. It’s also incredibly catchy and you’ll be humming it for hours after, making it perfect radio listening material.