FROM: Jacksonville, FL
Joyous, uplifting, almost (dare we say) spiritual. All words to describe Jacksonville, FL’s psych-pop outfit SUNBEARS!
The band has amassed a devoted national following after years of touring, critically lauded releases, and of course, their sensory stimulating live shows.
2014 is destined to be a banner year for the ‘BEARS! with the band hitting the Spring festival circuit, celebrating a 5-year anniversary with a limited vinyl issue of their much-loved 2009 EP Dream Happy Dreams, participation in the upcoming Flaming Lips-curated Sgt. Pepper’s tribute album (along side MGMT, My Morning Jacket, Phantogram and Miley Cyrus), and of course the much anticipated release of their second full-length Future Sounds on boutique indie label New Granada (Tampa, FL).
Recently upgrading from the long-standing lineup of duo Jonathan Berlin (vocals, bass, guitar, keys) and Jared Chase Bowser (drums), the band has expanded to an honest-to-goodness classic rock-n-roll lineup, welcoming JAX pals Walter Hill (guitar, keys) and Jordan Allen Davis (guitar, drum pad).
This expansion affords the luxury to move and breathe, especially in the live setting.
In lieu of New York’s Singing Serpent Studio, where 2011’s You Will Live Forever was recorded, the band decided to keep it close to home, tracking the new album at Atlantic Beach studio Twin Hill Studio by ‘BEAR Walter Hill and Wesley Hill with Jeremy S.H. Griffith (of the aforementioned Singing Serpent) at the mixing board.
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the band called the album Future Sounds reflecting the songs as sounds of the future, recorded in the past to be heard in the present. As opposed to it’s predecessor’s uplifting messages of hope, Berlin calls the new album “lyrically bleak… Mostly filled with existential quandaries on subjects that we as humans can never truly know… Like life after death, for instance… And whether or not we spend our short little lives worrying about such things.”
FS single “Now You’re Gone” recently premiered at Stereogum, with the influential music blog/publication calling the band a “sunshiney psych-pop act that feels like a space-age sequel to the shambolic visionary guitar-pop (Flaming) Lips of the mid-’90s.”
"The song ("Now You're Gone" from 2014's Future Sounds) shimmers as it speeds ahead like a bullet train to Wonderland, cascading harmonies telling a tale of heartbreak that still somehow feels uplifting."
"incorporates the cosmological contemplations of The Flaming Lips, John Lennon's simple-yet-dynamic musings on the meaning of love, and the Plastic Ono Band's positively reinforced psychedelic rock."
"psych pop that can warm the winter with its sunniness and blown-out melodies."
Jonathan Berlin (vocals, bass, guitar, programming)
Walter Hill (guitar, keys)
Now You're Gone
Ghost Town; Los Angeles, CA
Hi-Res Album Cover Image