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Album Review

The debut full-length album from Vancouver's Bear Mountain, 2013's XO, is an exuberant whirlwind of an album that strikes a balance between long-form instrumental techno and soulful, vocal-driven dance club anthems. Centered around the duo of singer/songwriter Ian Bevis and guitarist Kyle Statham, Bear Mountain also includes Ian's twin brother, drummer Greg Bevis. The trio build its densely layered dance music by mixing live and sampled drums, '80s-sounding keyboards, and Statham's arpeggiated, delay pedal-drenched guitar lines. Soaring on top of all of this is Ian's soulful tenor croon, often tackling the hook that, in a house track, would ordinarily be provided by a sample. This combination of electronic meets electric instrumentation gives Bear Mountain's largely dance-oriented music an organic, somewhat psychedelic, improvisational quality, as if they were playing and mixing the tracks live. Over half the songs on XO are instrumental; they're woozy, often dizzying, but each still has a melodic through-line to keep your attention, even amid disparate swirls of abstract sound. Bear Mountain's influences are definitely hard to pin down, spanning genres like R&B, jazz, Latin, orchestral pop, dance-rock, and house. This cross-genre approach means that Bear Mountain fit just as nicely next to alternative soul acts like Under the Influence of Giants and Scissor Sisters as they do next to more cutting-edge artists like Cut Copy and Frankmusik. Tracks like "Congo," "Faded," and "Sing" are uplifting, infectious club-ready cuts that move both your soul and your feet.

Customer Reviews

XO

saw bear mountain open for bloc party and bought this album. its really really good. cant wait for you guys to make your way to Portland again.

LOVE

Awesome guys!! Been playing it for a bunch of people and the response is unbelievable!

So good.

Saw them two weeks ago in Seattle, I knew it would be great when listened to this album, I didn't expect it to be one of the best shows I've ever seen.

Biography

Formed: 2011 in Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '10s

Vancouver's Bear Mountain make atmospheric indie-electronic dance music that touches upon such varied genres as R&B, house, and melodic pop. Originally the online solo project of electronic singer/songwriter Ian Bevis, Bear Mountain expanded to a full band after Bevis' music caught the ear of guitarist and fellow University of Victoria student Kyle Statham. The pair then joined forces with drummer Greg Bevis (Ian's twin brother) and began working on new material. When performing, Bear Mountain...
Full Bio
XO, Bear Mountain
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Customer Ratings

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