Bear In Heaven I Love You, It's Cool on LP + Download
For years, Bear in Heaven existed as a nights-and-weekends band, the sort of project that was more of a casual hobby than a career path for a few Southern natives who'd been living in the city for years. As such, they associated more with New York's experimental vanguards, whether playing at the late, great Tonic or touring as a backbone for composer Rhys Chatham. But in 2010, Beast Rest Forth Mouth delighted listeners with the unexpected - futuristic rock music that didn't sound alien or bound to ostracize. Taking these songs from coast to coast and continent to continent, they learned that having fun with this music was copacetic, that they could delight a crowd while defying musical binaries.
2012's I Love You, It's Cool turns that realization into a peerless set of instant anthems. "You come off of a tour, and you have ideas of what you found yourself enjoy playing over the last years," says Wills. "It felt good when people would dance. We tried to turn that into a record, to emphasize that. But there's still an absolute need to take the pop song and ruin it." Indeed, some of these songs were born for the floor. On "Sinful Nature," a perfect, tiny guitar theme spirals through colossal drums and slabs of synthesizers, suggesting perpetual motion. "Cool Light" booms with bliss, icy keyboards reflecting off of a relentless throb. It's inescapable.
But the intricacy and edge of Bear in Heaven's music is not only here but sharper and more sophisticated than ever before. Philpot's programming is both complex and compelling, whether in the refracted rainbows he warps on "Kiss Me Crazy" or the noisy matrix he weaves across "Space Remains." Certainly, "The Reflection of You" feels like a hit, with a hook that instantly catches and a bridge that curls its finger - lyrically, stylistically, temptingly - toward the dance floor. Philpot's mix of nostalgia and need is immediately relatable, too, bringing the band's exploratory sounds a little closer back to home. But the song exits in a moment space-rock ascendance, a readymade rock-club banger that erupts into a bold new direction.
I Love You, It's Cool is the first time Bear in Heaven had sounded so unapologetic and so evolved, so risky and so redeeming, so focused and so finessed. After years of restless exploration, this felt like a definitive arrival. I Love You, It's Cool is music written in the present tense but ready to speak to the future. The work is its own rarified reward.
Bear In Heaven I Love You, It's Cool Track Listing:
1. Idle Heart
2. The Reflection Of You
3. Noon Moon
4. Sinful Nature
5. Cool Light
6. Kiss Me Crazy
7. World Of Freakout
8. Warm Water
9. Space Remains
10. Sweetness & Sickness