Glasgow’s wojtek the bear Shine on “slowly, then all at once,” a Dreamy Reverie Full of Warm Color & Lush Light

wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge
wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge
wojtek the bear’s gentle reverie “slowly, then all at once” brings sweet color and dazzling light to a dull world as the Glaswegian indie pop band delve into the depths of human connection – and deception.
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“slowly, then all at once” – wojtek the bear




We try to write songs about universal themes that people can relate to which is really borne out by the fact this song is about being in a relationship with someone suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

I look for answers on my ceiling, to the questions I’ve long forgot,” wojtek the bear’s Tam Killean sings in the band’s latest release. His voice is steady and warm – a beacon of raw, radiant humanity in a rich medley of strings, horns and harmonized voices. “I tied an anchor to my feelings,” he professes, “now I can’t undo that knot.”

A gentle, tenderly poetic reverie, “slowly, then all at once” brings sweet color and dazzling light to a dull world as wojtek the bear delve into the depths of human connection – and deception.

slowly, then all at once - wojtek the bear
slowly, then all at once – wojtek the bear
You said you wished
that things were different,

but I guess we wish for different things
You put the con into consistent
and I wait for hours till the phone it rings.

Released January 26, 2024 via indie label Last Night From Glasgow, “slowly, then all at once” is the captivating second single taken off wojtek the bear’s forthcoming third album shaking hands with the NME (out April 12, 2024). Following the record’s lead single “second place on purpose” – another melodic triumph that reflects on band members’ recent ascension to parenthood, and what it means to put someone else ahead of yourself – “slowly, then all at once” is a song about mistrustful people, and how their deceit – intentional or otherwise – can lead us down unexpected rabbit holes of self-reflection and self-discovery.

wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge
wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge



Recorded and produced with Stephen Street (of The Smiths, Blur, and New Order fame), this song – as with the rest of the band’s new album – finds beauty in musical simplicity. With just three repeated chords, “slowly, then all at once” builds into a dreamy and all-consuming enchantment as wojtek the bear – comprised of Tam Killean, guitarist Graham Norris, bassist Paul Kirkwood, multi-instrumentalist Becky Cheminais, and drummer Scott McCutcheon – harness the bevy of instruments in their arsenal to create the musical equivalent of a wistful rainbow.

As I lift up the receiver,
take a breath before your latest claim

I contemplate faking a seizure,
before I remember that you’re medically trained

“We recorded this song as part of the album sessions for our new record shaking hands with the NME, which we completed in the summer of 2023 with Stephen Street,” Killean tells Atwood Magazine. “One of the biggest things we took away from working with Stephen is that often the simplest things work the best. I think naturally when you’re creating any sort of ‘art,’ it can be tempting to keep working and working at something and you often end up overcomplicating things. He taught us to resist that natural urge to overthink things and that something as simple as a three-chord progression can be ‘enough’ when you structure and present things in the right way.”

“Lyrically it’s a song about being in a relationship with someone who you could charitably describe as being ‘less than truthful,’ and how that then often causes introspection and you to overthink things. Which I guess has a nice parallel with how it was recorded!”

wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge
wojtek the bear © Chris Hogge
I look for answers on my ceiling,
to the questions I’ve long forgot
I tied an anchor to my feelings
now I can’t undo that knot

True to its name, “slowly, then all at once” rises steadily, building into a dramatic roar as wojtek the bear consume our ears and hearts through lush harmonies that linger on the air, lighting up the sky and sending shivers down the spine.

Stay tuned for more to come as the band continue to unveil shaking hands with the NME, and for now, get lost in the warmth and wonder of their latest radiant reverie.

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:: pre-order shaking hands with the NME here ::
:: connect with wojtek the bear here ::
“slowly, then all at once” – wojtek the bear



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slowly, then all at once - wojtek the bear

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? © Chris Hogge


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