"Bear Hands excel at crafting songs that chug manically under a cloud of reverb or coax wallflowers out onto the dancefloor with an infectious marriage of musical precision and experimental messiness." - Pitchfork
“New album ‘Distraction’ is worth another listen; its songs are irrepressibly vigorous.” – The Independent
Freshly reinvigorated Brooklyn quartet Bear Hands are set for a major boost in their profile this summer when they release their new album Distraction
– their first under a new deal with Warner Bros. Records – in the UK on August 11th.
Entirely self-funded by the band and produced by guitarist Ted Feldman, Distraction
is a collection in which the band’s love of pop hooks is filtered cohesively through an eclectic collection of genre elements ranging from psychedelic to punk. ‘Giants’ is perhaps the track that best encapsulates everything that makes Bear Hands special as it flows from a manic verse full of hollered stream-of-consciousness lyrics into an infectious chorus.
Elsewhere, the recent set-up singles ‘Agora’ (soaring, upbeat post-punk which addresses vocalist/guitarist Dylan Rau’s experiences with agoraphobia) and ‘Peacekeeper’ (driving rhythms which devolve into something altogether more reflective) demonstrate distinctly different strands of the Bear Hand sound. Faltering romance is a recurring theme throughout the album. ‘Thought Wrong’ is based upon a time when two of the band were involved in intense break-ups, while ‘Vile Iowa’ reflects Rau’s experiences visiting his ex-girlfriend’s conservative, teetotal Mormon family.
Bear Hands – Rau and Feldman, together with bassist Val Loper and drummer TJ Orscher – initially signed to indie label Cantora Records and released their debut album ‘Burning Bush Supper Club’ in 2010, but their initial progress faltered due to legal complications and daily distractions – hence the album title, inspired by Jonathan Lethem’s novel ‘Chronic City’.
Frustrated by the delay, Bear Hands opted to forge ahead on a new album themselves. They transformed Feldman’s parents’ house into a makeshift studio for a week so they could record drums and basic tracks, and then added vocals and overdubs at their friend Yale Yng-Wong’s studio, Doctor Wu’s, in Brooklyn. Subsequent mixing was completed by James Brown (Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters).