It’s nearly impossible to be in a bad mood while listening to Vancouver’s Bear Mountain. Charming swirls of electronica, samba, R&B and pop brightly ensure there will be no stillness to be had while listening, which is just what the band intended when it set out to create its debut album, XO, in 2013.
“During the making of the first album, I was just finished university, I was working a job I hated and living with my parents,” vocalist and bassist Ian Bevis recalls. “I always looked forward to going home and spending hours working on music just for fun. It came from a place of pure enjoyment without a lot of overthinking. It went a lot further than we expected it to.”
In the three years since Bear Mountain’s inaugural release, the band’s stepped back to rework its creation process in order to simplify and stop overthinking. This was an important step for Bear Mountain; being a new group and seeing success came as a bit of a shock. Working on the new record, which is due out sometime this summer, was a chance for the band to learn how to let go of
“We realized we didn’t need to repeat what we did,” Bevis explains. “We don’t need to write songs for the radio. This doesn’t need to be anything. It just needs to be what we want to make. It just needs to be real and come from us. It was a huge relief once we just let go of any expectations. We were just like, ‘Fuck it.'”
Bear Mountain was originally a solo project, but what Bevis was doing caught the ear of fellow student Kyle Statham, who added a guitar to the lineup. Bevis’ twin brother, Greg, then followed with live drums and Kenji Rodriguez joined as their creative director. Unwinding from their time at SXSW, the group tries to keep it light on the road, visiting hot springs and doing some sightseeing whenever possible. At home in Vancouver, Bevis loves to begin his day with yoga.
“I practice at One Yoga, but I do ashtanga mostly,” he says. “At least half of the primary series every morning. It’s super important. You just take that hour and prime yourself to feel good for the rest of the day.”
Fri, Apr 15 (8 pm)
With Viking Fell
Starlite Room, $20