Song of the Day: Bear in Heaven – The Reflection of You

photo by Shawn Brackbill

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “The Reflection of You” by Bear in Heaven from the 2012 album I Love You, It’s Cool, a joint release by Dead Oceans and Hometapes.

Bear in Heaven – The Reflection of You (MP3)

Like their pals Yeasayer, Brooklyn band Bear in Heaven make danceable psych-tinged electronic music, but unlike their friends who go all tribal with their dance beats, BIH band members Jon Philpot, Joe Stickney and Adam Wills create futuristic pop the way we might have imagined it back in the mid-80s. Bear in Heaven’s explorative songs are awash in swooshing reverb and modulated synths, like Tangerine Dream’s early Krautrock for the new indie crowd, while a driving darkness pervades, sitting them also comfortably beside those of new goth tenderers Zola Jesus and Austra. The band’s atmospheric third album, I Love You, It’s Cool, is as anthemic as it is astral, a tight pop collection written by unapologetic experimentalists. Although you won’t find easy MGMT-esque accessibility here, Philpot and crew never lose sight of the beat, as on today’s featured song, “The Reflection of You,” which builds from a moody, romantic reflection to a pumping rave. In it, you’ll hear more contemporary hints of Animal Collective, M83, Flying Lotus and others, but ultimately Bear in Heaven sound exactly like themselves.

I Love You, It’s Cool comes out next Tuesday, April 3. The band is currently on the road and will be performing live on KEXP Friday, April 13, at 1pm, and then at the Crocodile later the same night. Right now, you can get a preview of the album in the most unconventional form: On their website, Bear in Heaven is streaming I Love You, It’s Cool slowed down to 400,000 percent of its natural speed. Already 2500 hours in to a total 2709, the stream will end on April 3, when the album is released. It makes for great background noise (right now, I’m listening to a warm wash from some part of “Space Remains”). If an unaltered song is more your speed, try the new video for today’s featured song instead:

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