Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Be Strong

Song: Be Strong
Artist: The 2 Bears
Album: Be Strong

I first heard "Bear Hug" back in June of last year and thought it was pretty ridiculous.  A bit of 90's house minimalism with a digitally altered deep voice going on about giving bear hugs.  Silly.  Seeing the video (below) at least got me to listen to the song again, and while it reeked of hipster, the silly rooftop dance scene made me chuckle... and then the post chorus kicked in and I was like... wait, is that the guy from Hot Chip?

The 2 Bears are a London-based duo started by yes, Joe Goddard of Hot Chip along with Raf Rundell.  They formed in 2009 and are releasing their debut album, "Be Strong" sometime this year.  It's a mix of house, soul, 2-step, and Hot Chip's unique electro-nerd style.  It's a bit like if Hot Chip did a record with Hercules and Love Affair.  And if that alone gets you excited, prepare to be pleased.

Thankfully, the entire record doesn't use that silly deep voice, though it pops up here and there."Be Strong" though from the start was very different from what "Bear Hug" sets you up for.  The slow-building opening track "The Birds & the Bees" mixes steel drum and horns over a bubbling beat that's quite lush and fantastic.  Then "Be Strong" explodes into your ears and it's the 90's all over again.  It's a great track, and more representative of the album than "Bear Hug" is.

The album continues along and surprises you in its diversity and quality.  Maybe it was my low expectations after that first single, but this record is really really pleasing me.  Be sure to check it out.

Oh, "Work" and "Take a Look Around" are blowing me away right now.  This is something.


Be Strong
Bear Hug

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