Bear in Heaven

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Bear In Heaven
Bear in heaven at the rock and roll hall of fame.jpg
Background information
Origin Brooklyn, NY, US
Genres Indie rock
Experimental rock
Electronic rock
Dream pop
Years active 2003–present
Labels Dead Oceans
Dreamboat Records
Eastern Developments
Associated acts Presocratics
Members Jon Philpot
Adam Wills
Jason Nazary
Past members Sadek Bazarra
David Daniell
James Elliott
Joe Stickney

Bear in Heaven is a Brooklyn-based rock band formed by Jon Philpot. The sound of the band incorporates influences from psychedelic music, electronic music, and krautrock.


Jon Philpot has previously released music as part of the duo Presocratics, in collaboration with guitarist and composer Need Thomas Windham. Presocratics released two albums on the record label Table of the Elements in 2001; both were produced by Philpot.

The first Bear in Heaven release (Tunes Nextdoor to Songs, Eastern Developments 2003) was an EP of solo recordings by Philpot, with guest musicians performing on various instruments. Shortly after the release of Tunes Nextdoor to Songs, Philpot joined with guitarist Adam Wills, keyboardist/guitarist Sadek Bazarra (a graphic designer with Brooklyn design collective GH avisualagency), guitarist David Daniell (of San Agustin), and bassist James Elliott (Ateleia, School of Seven Bells). Eventually drummer Joe Stickney (formerly of Perpetual Groove, drummer with Paul Duncan,[1] Rhys Chatham's Essentialist project, and current touring drummer with Panthers) was added to the lineup. Daniell left Bear in Heaven in 2005 to focus on his solo project. In 2006 they did a Take-Away Show video session shot by Vincent Moon.

Red Bloom of the Boom, Bear in Heaven's first full-length album with the full band, was released in 2007 by the Hometapes record label.

Elliott left the band after the completion of the recordings of Red Bloom of the Boom to focus on School of Seven Bells and his solo project, Ateleia. Bear in Heaven now performs as a four-piece with Philpot on vocals, guitar and keyboards; Wills on guitar and bass; Bazarra on bass and keyboards; and Stickney on drums.

Their 2010 album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, received the "Best New Music" award from Pitchfork Media, with the reviewer stating: "Beast Rest Forth Mouth is as familiar-feeling as it is difficult to pinpoint. Mostly made up of textural, spacious three- to four-minute pop anthems with towering choruses, BRFM is a welcome reminder that an album doesn't have to be bombastic to feel huge and important. Take out the earbuds and let it fill a space: This is music that's bigger than your iPod—music you'll want to feel all around you. Though not quite coming out of nowhere, BRFM seems like a surprise gift—a striking consolidation of the spiky psych-prog tendencies of their debut into a pop framework." [2]

In 2011 the band collaborated with Lindstrøm on a limited split 12" vinyl entitled "Lovesick", which was released on April 16, 2011.

Their third studio album, I Love You, It's Cool was previewed to fans on the band's website in March 2012, capturing the album and slowing it down to 2,700 hours of drone. It has so far received positive reviews and was previewed by the website NPR.[3] The album was released on April 3, 2012.

Following the departure of Joe Stickney in 2012, Philpot and Wills teamed up with New York City session drummer Jason Nazary to begin work on a fourth studio album. This album, Time Is Over One Day Old, would mark the band's second release on Dead Oceans.


Studio albums[edit]



External links[edit]