UK-based artist TUFF BEAR‘s single, ‘Not Very Well’ which combines ambient synthesised melodies and melancholic vocals that play out over a pulsing, funk-inspired groove, all with the intention of creating a feeling of optimism and joy in the face of a familiar sadness.
The upbeat, disco-charged buoyancy that dominates the song is designed to contradict the more introspective notions of anxiety and worry that are explored in the lyrics, thereby presenting a sort of defiance in the embrace of one’s shyness.
With a sound that draws on 70s disco, 90s dance and contemporary indie-pop, Tuff Bear – an alias for Theo Vernon – developed his sound and aesthetic over the course of the pandemic taking what had been a lifelong hobby. He started playing music from the age of five, learning the tuba, piano and cello before joining a choir – into something of a creative endeavor, writing and recording songs in his student bedroom. Work started on this first instalment of the Tuff Bear project back in April of 2020 before Vernon signed to Acrophase Records and began piecing together the collection with label mate, PWNT.
‘Not Very Well’ follows his bb sway-featuring debut single, “Talk To You” which found fans Stereofox, Dope Cause We Said, Also Cool Mag and more. Tuff Bear’s debut EP, Tuff Bear’s Picnic is set for release via Nashville-based label, Acrophase Records (V.V. Lightbody, PWNT, Ginger Root) on June 3, 2022.
Have a listen to ‘Not Very Well’ below…