Sunday, 4 April 2010

Recommendations From Recommended Radio: Bear In Heaven

Some bands you just have to listen to. Not because of catching them live, or seeing an advert, but because the universe repeatedly drops hints into your audio canals and visual cavities that you will dig on this music. In today's case, Last.Fm is the universe and Bear In Heaven is the band.

Having recently joined the rest of the developed world with an internet connection that, like the cheesy Eurodance 90's classic from 2Unlimited, has no limits, I'm finally able to take advantage of streaming facilities such as Last.FM radio. The recommendations page of said service has been touting this band as one I might like for many months now, though of course the music itself holds much more allure than a simple RIYL xyz description. Presumably, then, this is the reason that it foisted 5 varied Bear In Heaven tracks across various channels in just a couple of days. 

MP3: Bear In Heaven - Wholehearted Mess
MP3: Bear In Heaven - Lovesick Teenagers
Taken from the 2009 release Beast Rest Forth Mouth (both at Last.Fm)

Buy it at Insound!

Although one could make a strong argument for an immediate cease & desist on any more Brooklyn indie bands including the genus Ursidae in their title - whether Grizzly, endangered, or inhabiting the afterlife - it can be overlooked in this case. 

Their sound is indeed approaching heavenly, with a pleasant electronic haze that nods to current flavours like Beach House and, further back, 80's electronic influences in Depeche Mode et al. The 'hazy' and 'dreamy' tags are being bandied about aplenty this year - not least of all here, I shall admit - but when the music is absorbing and transcendent, who's to quibble? Furthermore, as the group have been plying their trade since 2003, any allegations involving bandwagons would have to be extremely well argued to stick. And if anything, the early video for Fraternal Noon has a more nightmarish quality to it than anything that could be conjured up by a dream-pop band.

Having been released in 2009, Beast Rest Forth Mouth hit plenty of year end lists. Despite having missed out, it's a pleasure to discover powerful tracks like Lovesick Teenagers and Wholehearted Mess now, shortly before the band arrive back in town next week supporting Cymbals Eat Guitars. Take a listen for yourself and see if this recommendation from a recommendation works its magic as well on you.

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