First formed in high school, the chemistry and cohesion of Ohio band Spirit of the Bear is infectious. Youthful, fun, and yet notably well-trained with backgrounds in music and production at Berklee College of Music, Capital University Conservatory of Music, and Blackbird Academy Nashville, their latest track Opaque is a description of the tenuous and sometimes unpredictable journey into artistic self-discovery. Indie pop-rock in sound, the track is accompanied by a music video the band describes as “our most ambitious to date, starting with a mockumentary intro depicting the band’s bitter breakup before the members embark on individual self-discovery journeys such as a drug-fueled trip, a multi-million dollar art deal, and an 8-bit battle.”
Humorous and playful in visual quality, the video pairs brilliantly and idiosyncratically with the depth and self-reflective lyricism of the song all wrapped in the compelling garb of synth-rock sound and hip-hop beat. Two sets of keyboards (Danny Svenson and Ethan Schwendeman) produce a stunning depth of soundscape and plenty of interesting garnishes.
Simple, melodic and nostalgic synth solos fluidly give way to passionately-pitched electric guitar lines (James Harker). A deep, faithful bassline (Mike Perorazio) and steady, subdued percussion (Jamie Vitullo) hold it all together and invite you to roll down the windows at the next red light.
Am I making sense
Am I making sound
Everybody talks to me like
It’s easy getting off the ground
Will I fall in line
Will I fall in love
With the hidden part of me
That I never seem to feel enough
The expertly delivered vocal work (Harker and Svenson) move from moments of intimate self-disclosure to a sense of remoteness and distance in the electronic effects and dreamlike vocal harmonies, reminding the listener of both the intimacy and loneliness of the creative journey.