Bear Lake

Catchy, melodic pop/rock from six friends out of Michigan. Yep, that’s right friends – as in, they all have pretty much known each other since the sixth grade. So, kids, if you’re thinking your middle school friends won’t mean anything to your future (though, you’re probably thinking, another “bear” band? wtf??), think again, because Bear Lake is here to prove you wrong.

Originally an eight member band, Bear Lake has dipped to six after a couple band mates (Peter LeClair and Carmen Electra Paradise – real name) got married and started their own ventures together. So cute; and, seriously, talk about bandcest. The current members are Matt Hines (Ac. Git, and Lead Vox), Jon Rice (Lead Git, vox), Steve Stetson (Drums), Brian Kwasnik (Piano, vox), Eric Pederson (Organ/synth/percussion), and Keith May (Bass, Vox). As May told us, “We all are aspiring songwriters in our own right, and we write as a conglomerative unit. Usually Stetson programs a drumbeat as a base, and we take it from there in shifting groups and add parts until we have a workable song, then we take it to Rustbelt where studio wizard Eric Hoegemeyer adds the final touches.”

Honestly, who can think of a better life than performing what you love with friends you love? Bear Lake has a legitimate shot at making it big – they recently started working with well-known producers and lawyers, as well as North Star Publishing for their licensing. If I had any say in the matter, they’d be popular right away – while their song “Where Do We Go?” has been featured on One Tree Hill and Melrose Place, it’s up to us to push them along and give them a solid foundation.

The songs straddle the line between light electro-acoustic and darker pop/rock, establishing an agreeable balance of lo-fi and produced. Vocals play a vital role for Bear Lake, as four of the six guys (as aforementioned) sing, procuring warm harmonies. The organ and synth add a bit of complexity and depth to the sound, which is otherwise easily engaging. Driving electric guitar sets the mood in one of the stronger tracks, “The Best One”, while soft percussion and acoustics propel my personal favorite, “You’re Only Waiting”.

Bear Lake – “You’re Only Waiting” [MP3]

Bear Lake – “The Best One” [MP3]

Purchase Places On The Side (2009) | Bear Lake on MySpace

[Photo by Stephanie Culver]

2 comments to Bear Lake

  • Jyarsch

    I’ve been sitting here waiting for these boys to blow up. People have to start paying attention. I’ve seen these guys in various line-ups and groups for the last 7 or so years of my life and enjoyed every outcome. Good stuff.

  • Jack Johnson

    Bear Lake is a soulful and sophisticated musical experience.