Behind The Song: “Bugbear” – Wickerbird


Wickerbird, the moniker of Blake Cowan’s solo dream-folk project, has shared the first single, ‘Bugbear,” from the forthcoming The Leaf Maker LP.  The album, which is Wickerbird’s third release, will be self-released on September 18.

When writing the follow up to 2012’s The Crow Mother and 2013’s The Westering, Cowan secluded himself in a trailer on Washington’s Mount Rainier and found inspiration in the forest and even recorded some of nature’s own notes, recording them and featuring them on his new album.

We had the opportunity to talk with Cowan about the meaning and inspiration behind “Bugbear,” and the album as a whole. Read what he had to say below.

“I like to think of Bugbear as a thesis statement for the record at large. Like much of my music—and life over the last couple years—Bugbear is a search for meaning in the inherently meaningless. Bugbear is a blighted call for purpose amid all this confounding nihilism and chaos we’re born into. Tonally however, Bugbear differs in that it represents a moment of acceptance, of respite from that search. Bugbear is about that ephemeral stillness when one can look into the torrential maw of that uncertainty in life, that solipsism, that nihilism, that abyssal godlessness, and accept it. It’s about yielding to the innately unknown, to the forever ineffable and to instead find one’s truth in the simple fleeting beauties this world affords.

‘I know not what I’m for, but my face by the fireside warms.’

The indelible tragedy of the song though, is that even this acceptance is fleeting. The doubts inevitably return and the peace recedes and the cycle continues. In that way, the rest of the record seeks to portray the various stages of cycle, from the stillness of knowing to the quiet chaos of uncertainty and back again.” –BC


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