Bear in Heaven is an indie/ electronic quartet from Brooklyn. They formed in 2003 and have released three albums, including a new one this year. I first learned about them just after they released of Beast Rest Forth Mouth when a former coworker was playing the record a lot. I mean A LOT. I had seen their name a million times, and they kept popping up in the recommendations that eMusic was making for me. They kept showing up in other RIYL lists. Still though, I didn’t bother to check them out until my coworker played them for me. Again, and again.
The album has just the right balance of live instruments and electronics. I’m not always a fan of electronics, but it works for me here. There’s something about the whole album that has an apocalyptic feel to it. It’s weird, but I like it. Although Bear in Heaven sounds almost nothing like The Arcade Fire, it’s that same weird, dark, apocalyptic feel that makes Funeral so brilliant. On the Bear in Heaven record, there’s one song — “Deafening Love” — that’s actually more scary than creepy in that regard.
As much as I wouldn’t mind making “Deafening Love” the song du jour, that’s just not the way it played out this morning as I was making my decision. Don’t ask me how I make my decisions. It’s never the result of using “shuffle” on the media player. There’s always some amount of weighing this versus that. This is just the one that I picked today.
“Lovesick Teenagers” by Bear in Heaven
I like the repetitive nature of it. Some folks call that boring. Not me.
That is, of course, until the 3:08 mark, where there’s a rather sudden stop, followed by about five seconds of wind-blowing sound. It’s actually a perfect way to make the music end, given these lyrics:
We are falling straight down so turn us up
Loud and clear
Before we crash into the ground
That’s exactly what it sounds like. Free falling. No parachute. And then the impact with the ground.
I also like that they say “Turn us up loud and clear”, because that’s what I think you should do with this song. No headphones. No “listening at a respectful level”. Forget your coworkers or your downstairs neighbors. Or your across-the-street neighbors, for that matter. Turn this up loud. Really loud.
You can buy a physical copy of Beast Rest Forth Mouth in the format of your choice from an officially sanctioned web store here.
As for the new album…. I’m not crazy about it. It shifted further towards the realm of “full-on electronic”. I might have dug that in 1997, and for a little while in 2004, but it’s not working for me in 2012. Still, though, it’s worth a listen.