Our latest Spotify playlist has been specially curated for us by English folk band Bear's Den.

Influenced by Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s novel Where the Wild Things Are, the London trio already have two critically acclaimed EPs under their belt, as well as extensive touring accolades alongside the likes of Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard and The Staves.

This week sees the release of their first fully-fledged LP Islands via Communion Records and we caught up with them to talk all things recording, touring and mince pies…

1. Your debut album ‘Islands’ came out this week. How does it feel to finally be releasing it into the wide world? 

It's very exciting!  We've been working behind closed doors on the record for a while now so we're very excited to finally get it out there.

2. Can you tell us more about the recording process of the album? How long did it take to make and where did you record it?

We made the record in an old church in Crouch End, North London with our good friend Ian Grimble producing. The main body of tracking took about 6 weeks but there was a lot of preproduction and rehearsals before that.

3. You have toured extensively as a band, where would you say is the happiest place you have been to?

We're lucky enough to have been all over the world playing music. It's hard to say where our collective happy place as a band was, but for me, San Francisco always makes me very excited; Joey loves New York the most; and Davie is a big fan of Hobart in Tasmania. 

4. Talk us through the some of the songs on your Spotify playlist. Why did you choose them and what do they mean to you?

There are so many different ways to interpret the idea of happiness in music. Sometimes the way a song makes you feel is enough to fill you full of joy even if its lyrical content is not that chirpy.  A lot of the songs on the playlist remind me of certain periods in my life, so I guess a lot of the selections are based on memories — music is amazing for taking you back to a certain place or time.  Picking a few at random, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show is a song that's been around us as a band on many tours, in the van, and also having had the privilege of sharing a stage with the band. So it always takes me back to good times.  Old Pine by Ben Howard is a song that completely encapsulates the first tour we did in the USA, that feeling of freedom and adventure that's very hard to replicate.  Lastly, A New England by Billy Bragg is just such an amazing powerful simple song, there's something about the song that is like time travel for me — instant nostalgia, and it underlines how powerful songwriting can be stripped back with no frills.

5. We believe that happiness is better shared; please can you pick a song from your playlist and tell us who you’d like to share it with?

I'd like to share Walk Like An Egyptian with our good friend Christof, who's supporting us on our upcoming tour of Europe and the US. 

6. Lastly, what happens next now the album is released? 

Well, we're about to set off on a 2-month long tour, which is very exciting. By the time we come home it'll be Christmas, so there'll be mulled wine and mince pies for all the lads.