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Wesleyan graduate Dylan Rau started indie electro quartet Bear Hands during an especially tumultuous time in his love life. Interpersonal drama and changing romantic tides served as his inspiration for writing dozens of new songs. Needing an outlet to unleash this creative fury, Rau called on his school friend Ted Feldman and fellow Brooklyn musicians Val Loper and T.J. Orscher to bring the band to life. Their first release came in the form of 2007's Golden EP, which quickly gained them attention both locally and nationally. Lots of touring ensued, including opening spots for like-minded larger acts like Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, MGMT, and Mayer Hawthorne. More small-scale releases followed, as did international touring that included Brazilian dates with Chairlift. In 2010, Bear Hands released their debut full-length, Burning Bush Supper Club, followed by more singles and the 2012 EP Songs from Utopia, Vol. 1. Their second album, 2014's Distraction, yielded a surprise Top Ten hit on Billboard's Alternative charts with lead single "Giants." Their increased exposure landed them slots at major festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, as well as their first network TV appearance on Conan. For their follow-up, 2016's You'll Pay for This, Bear Hands launched their own label Spensive Sounds. ~ Fred Thomas