Album Review: Bear In Heaven

Time Is Over One Day Old (Dead Oceans)

SOUTHERN BOYS they may be, but Bear In Heaven’s DNA is not Dixie, but the electronic art-pop of Britain and Germany in the 1980s.

Yet to think of the Brooklyn based Alabamans as some kind of revivalists is a mistake. Their approach to electro-pop is very much the sound of contemprary indie, incorporating sparse, yet judicious use of guitars and emphasising choruses and verse melodies.

These qualities are on display here. Opener ‘Autumn’ marries a propulsive groove to laid back vocals; searing guitars add drama to the chorus of ‘Time Between’; ‘If I Were to Lie’ owes a debt to Future Natives but can hold its own against them as well.

However Time Is Over’s finest songs are ‘Memory Heart’ and ‘You Don’t Need The World’. The former begins almost trace like; psychedelic, dreamy, vocals drift through a balmy landscape before rising to an impressive grandstanding chorus.

‘You Don’t Need The World’ sees the guitar as the driving force with the keyboards adding texture, but all are in service to the vocals which build expectations of a cathartic coda. When it arrives though it is in the form of languid guitar lines, handclaps, and keyboards sounds that ebb and flow like calm waters - catharsis then as confident resolution, not primal scream therapy, and a fitting close to a satisfying album.

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