An overly earnest attitude afflicts a lot of Post Rock bands these days, but Bear Hands shouldn’t be counted in that dour census.
The Brooklyn quartet’s sense of humor is bannered up front with their name and extends through their playfully weird lyrical content, which often addresses serious subjects from a skewed perspective (or vice versa). Sporting a sonic philosophy that zip-codes in the neighborhood of Modest Mouse and XTC, Bear Hands’ energetic and freewheeling approach has made them a popular opener for The XX, Vampire Weekend, We Were Promised Jetpacks and MGMT (the latter perhaps by virtue of nepotistic friendship; BH’s Dylan Rau and Ted Feldman and MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser were classmates at Wesleyan University).
Bear Hands began in 2006 when drummer TJ Orscher and bassist Val Loper ended a long musical project and connected with vocalist/guitarist Rau, who had material that he wanted to present in a band setting.
Rau suggested Feldman as second guitarist, and the foursome’s chemistry was so immediate that they produced their first EP, 2007’s Golden, within months of their formation.
On the strength of Golden, Bear Hands became a blog sensation and began touring extensively; it would be three years before they had time to create their buzzy full-length debut, 2010’s Burning Bush Supper Club. Since then, Bear Hands has managed to drop a pair of EPs — last year’s High Society and the just-released and “quasi-political” Songs From Utopia Vol. 1 — and may even be getting close to gearing up for a sophomore full-length.
Whatever the set list, Bear Hands has the danceable solution to teenage revolution.
BEAR HANDS perform with Fort Lean and Lightning Love Friday, Aug. 3 as part of MidPoint's Indie Summer Series on Fountain Square. Check out performance times and get venue details here.